Richard Bakalyan

Active - 1957 - 2003  |   Born - Jan 29, 1931 in Watertown, MA  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Crime, War

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Biography by Hal Erickson

American actor Richard Bakalyan didn't have to "stretch" much to play juvenile delinquents in the films of the 1950s. Bakalyan had been something of a J.D. all his life, graduating into an "official" punk when he did a year's probation at age 15. Appropriately, the actor's first film was a 1957 Kansas City-based epic directed by Robert Altman, The Delinquents - which was followed with an appearance in Jerry Lewis' The Delicate Delinquent (1957). Proud that his demeanor, haircut and mode of dress had assured him a living in Hollywood, Bakalyan continued to appear in such low-budgeters as The Cool and the Crazy (1957) and The Bonnie Parker Story (1958). He extended his switchblade-wielding activities into television, maturing into a dependable middle-aged villain when the juvenile-delinquent cycle burned itself out in the early 1960s. How, then, are we to explain Dick Bakalyan's presence as a regular in the 1972 NBC variety series The Bobby Darin Amusement Company? Perhaps Bakalyan was attracted to Darin's hit song "Mack the Knife."

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