RARA-AVIS: RIP Dennis Weaver

From: JIM DOHERTY ( jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 28 Feb 2006

I just heard that Dennis Weaver passed away from complications from cancer, only days after Darren McGavin and Don Knotts.

Coincidentally, I'd just seen Weaver's favorite GUNSMOKE episode, "Chesterland," on the 50th Anniversay DVD. He resigns his deputy's job to farm a plot of land he's homesteading outside of Dodge in hopes of marrying his girl friend. Of course it turns out badly.

Weaver managed to rise above the exaggerated (and potentially career-limiting) character he created for GUNSMOKE. He went on to play the lead in five other TV series, including his role as a hard-nosed but homey rural cop from the Southwest assigned to the NYPD on McCLOUD.

In the feature film version of DRAGNET, he played the cammander of Homicide (coincidentally the same character played by Milburn Stone, GUNSMOKE's "Doc" in an early episode of the TV series). On the series he had a semi-recurring role as a lab cop.

Perhaps his most famous role was in DUEL, a TV-movie directed by rookie filmmaker Steven Spielberg, in which he played a traveling salesman menaced by a psychopathic truck driver.

A fine actor, and a fine man, who'll be missed.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 28 Feb 2006 EST