Darren McGavin

Active - 1945 - 2000  |   Born - May 7, 1922 in Spokane, Washington, United States  |   Died - Feb 25, 2006   |   Genres - Drama, Horror, Adventure

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Biography by AllMovie

Darren McGavin dropped out of college after one year and moved to New York, where he trained for the stage at the Neighborhood Playhouse and the Actors Studio. In the mid '40s he began landing small roles in occasional films, but worked primarily onstage. He first made an impression onscreen as a painter in David Lean's Summertime and a drug pusher in Otto Preminger's The Man with the Golden Arm (both 1955); nevertheless, his subsequent film work tended to occur in intermittent spurts, with long periods off-screen between roles. He is best known as a TV actor; he starred in the TV series Crime Photographer, Mike Hammer, Riverboat, The Outsider, and Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and also appeared in a number of TV movies. He occasionally directed episodes of his TV shows, and directed and produced the film Happy Mother's Day, Love George (1973), whose title was later changed to Run, Stranger, Run.

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  • Was reportedly abandoned by his parents as a child, eventually ending up in the Jessie Dyslin Boys Ranch orphanage in Tacoma, WA
  • Trained at New York's Neighborhood Playhouse under actor Sanford Meisner, as well as at the Actors Studio.
  • Was working as a set painter for Columbia Studios on the 1945 Frederic Chopin biopic A Song to Remember when he landed his first big-screen appearance, a bit part in the film.
  • Starred in the TV Western series Riverboat (1959-61), and later owned and operated a riverboat named La Poursuite du Bonheur (The Pursuit of Happiness).
  • His short-lived supernatural drama Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974-75) was the inspiration for sci-fi series The X-Files, according to creator Chris Carter; McGavin once appeared on the series as Arthur Dales, the man who started the X-Files FBI unit.
  • Best-loved big-screen role was Ralphie Parker's grouchy father in the 1983 holiday classic A Christmas Story.
  • Provided the voice for Budweiser's "This Bud's for You" commercials for several years.
  • Performed the audio books of Robert Ludlum's Bourne trilogy, which was later made into a successful film franchise.