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.
For the Record Los Angeles Times Thursday February 10, 2000 Home Edition Part A Page 24 Metro Desk 2 inches; 57 words Type of Material: Correction Todd Karns obituary--The obituary of actor Todd Karns in Tuesday's Times incorrectly identified his character's branch of military service in the classic holiday film "It's a Wonderful Life." Karns portrayed Navy hero Harry Bailey, the younger brother of Jimmy Stewart's George Bailey. Karns, in real life a veteran of World War II as a member of the Army Air Corps, died Saturday in Ajijic, Mexico, at 79.
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