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Obituaries : * Karl Lukas; Actor

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Karl Lukas, a veteran character actor who appeared on stage alongside Henry Fonda and on television with Phil Silvers during a career spanning 45 years, has died at his Agoura home. He was 75.

Lukas died Monday of heart failure, said his wife, Stephanie.

He scored his first big break in 1948, appearing as Lindstrom in the Broadway production of “Mister Roberts,” starring Fonda. He later landed the semi-regular role of Kadowski on television’s “The Phil Silvers Show” during the 1950s.

According to his wife, Lukas was an active character actor frequently cast as a detective or villainous cowboy during a lengthy career in television and film. Some of the many episodic series he appeared on were “Bonanza,” “Bewitched,” “Ben Casey,” “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “Family Affair” and “St. Elsewhere.” His films included “Reds,” “Oklahoma Crude,” “Memories of Me” and “Blazing Saddles.”

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Born Karol Louis Lukasiak on Aug. 21, 1919, in Lowell, Mass., he moved to New York following high school, where he worked odd jobs at night and pursued acting roles during the day. After a stint in the Navy, he got his start as an actor with a Virginia theater group that included Ernest Borgnine.

He and his wife married in 1955 and moved to Los Angeles in 1957. Before moving to Agoura, they were longtime Canoga Park residents.

Lukas is also survived by a daughter, Valerie Williams of Thousand Oaks; a son, Mark Lukasiak of Pacific Palisades; a brother, Waldemar Lukasiak of Westlake Village, and one grandchild.

A funeral Mass will be said at 10 a.m. today at St. Jude’s Catholic Church, 32032 W. Lindero Canyon Road, Westlake Village. A graveside ceremony will follow at San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills. Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Mortuary in Westlake Village is handling the arrangements.

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In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Motion Picture and Television Fund, 23388 Mulholland Drive, Woodland Hills 91364.


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