Todd Karns, 79, an actor who memorably portrayed Jimmy Stewart’s younger brother in the classic holiday film “It’s a Wonderful Life.” In the finale of the 1946 film, the returning Army hero Harry Bailey toasted Stewart’s character with the line: “To my big brother, George. The richest man in town!” Himself a veteran of World War II, Karns grew up in Hollywood as the son of character actor Roscoe Karns. Todd Karns appeared in several films during the 1940s and 1950s, including “The Caine Mutiny,” “My Foolish Heart” and two of the Andy Hardy movies. As television began, Karns joined his father, who played the title character, in the New York police show, “Rocky King, Detective.” The live show on the old DuMont network ran for five years, and young Karns played his father’s sidekick, Det. Hart, for the final season in 1953-54. For the past three decades, Karns had produced and directed in the Lakeside Little Theater he created near Guadalajara, Mexico. On Saturday in Ajijic, Mexico, of cancer.
Todd Karns; Acted in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’
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12:00 AM, Feb. 10, 2000