Actor Darren McGavin, Feb. 25 Darren McGavin, an Emmy-winning actor who worked mostly in TV and made an enduring mark on popular culture as the grizzled has-been crime reporter in the 1970s series Kolchak: The Night Stalker, died on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2006, in the Los Angeles area. He was 83. McGavin starred in several TV series, including the syndicated Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer (1957 to 1959), Riverboat (NBC, 1959 to 1961), The Outsider (NBC, 1968 to 1969) and the short-lived CBS comedy Small & Frye (1983). He first played fast-talking Carl Kolchak in The Night Stalker, a TV movie about a reporter covering a vampire's killing spree in Las Vegas. When it first aired in 1972, the movie set a ratings record. Writer-producer Chris Carter has often cited Kolchak as the primary inspiration for the long-running fantasy-drama The X-Files. On the big screen, he had roles in Summertime and The Man With The Golden Arm. He also was Jerry Lewis' parole officer in The Delicate Delinquent, a gambler in The Natural and starred alongside Don Knotts, who died Friday, in No Deposit, No Return. His most famous movie role was the classic A Christmas Story, in which he played the narrator's father who grumbles his fair share of profanity. Years later, he demonstrated the art of garbled cussing on Larry King Live.
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