Tuesday, July 7, 2009


When Harve Presnell died last week at the age of 75, more creative universes than just Toobworld lost a great talent. Most of the obituaries focused on his powerful singing voice and the roles he played in musical theater; and also how he broke into movie musicals just as the genre was waning. Later, he was "re-discovered" by movie audiences with his role as Wade Gustafson in "Fargo".

But this being a blog about the TV Universe, we're saluting the body of work he contributed to Toobworld.

His longest-running role on TV was also his scariest, and with that imposing frame, hard-chiseled face, and especially that gruff voice, any role - even the comedic ones - played by Harve Presnell could already be plenty scary. Mr. Parker was the Chairman of the Centre Council on 'The Pretender', who was willing to kill in order to get what he wanted or to protect his own self-interests. And that may have included his wife, the mother of Miss Parker (who may or may not have been his daughter.)

He played a key role in the ABC crossover night of sitcoms set in Las Vegas which linked together 'The Drew Carey Show', 'Ellen', 'Grace Under Fire', and 'Coach'. In the 'Grace Under Fire' segment, Grace met an older man named Jack and was so entranced by his virility that she brought him back to her motel room for a bit of the ol' nudge nudge wink wink - only to have him die on her floor while showing off with a few push-ups.

But for ye olde Caretaker of Toobworld, his best role was that of Lew Staziak, a retired P.I. who formerly occupied Andy's office in 'Andy Barker, P.I.'. Lew was off the wall nuts and you were never quite sure if he was ever telling the truth. Maybe he was hallucinating from all the peyote he used to take. And at any moment he could snap and go off the deep end.

Lew was one of the funniest characters to come along in the last few years.....

Good night and may God bless.....

Harve Presnell's TV credits include:

"Andy Barker, P.I." .... Lew Staziak (2007)

"Dawson's Creek" .... Arthur Brooks (2000-2001)

"The Pretender" .... Mr. Parker (1997-2000)

"The Lionhearts"

"Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man"

"The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest"

Legally Blonde (2003) (TV) .... Henry Whitehouse

The Pretender: Island of the Haunted (2001) .... Mr. Parker

The Pretender 2001 (2001) .... Mr. Parker

"Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" .... Dr. Sam Lane (1995-1997)

"Ryan's Hope" .... Matthew Crane (1984)

"Cold Case"




"The Lyon's Den"

"The Practice"

"Hope & Faith"


"Strong Medicine"


"The Outer Limits"

"Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place"

"George & Leo"


"EZ Streets"

"Grace Under Fire"

"Star Trek: Voyager"

"Nash Bridges"

"The Client"

"The Red Skelton Show"

"General Electric Theater"

"Alfred Hitchcock Presents"

"From the Earth to the Moon" (1998) .... Alan Shepard's party guest

Jackie, Ethel, Joan: The Women of Camelot (2001) (TV) .... Joe Kennedy

Everything That Rises (1998) (TV) .... Garth

A Bright Shining Lie (1998) (TV) .... General Harkins

Tidal Wave: No Escape (1997)

The Guardian (1997) (TV) .... Clovis McConnell

The Great Man's Whiskers (1972) (TV) .... Ballad Singer


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