An accomplished actor of film, TV and the stage, Darren McGavin was equally at home in comedies or dramas. He is perhaps best remembered as the "Old Man" in A Christmas Story and as wisecracking reporter Carl Kolchak in The Night Stalker.
Born in 1922, he received his dramatic arts training at New York's Neighborhood Playhouse and the Actors Studio. During the 1950s, he made a name for himself with performances in The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell and The Man With the Golden Arm. In 1956, he landed the role of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer on TV.
He was a reguarly-seen character actor on TV throughout the 1960s before landing the role of Kolchak for the 1972 movie The Night Stalker. The TV movie earned huge ratings and spawned a sequel film and a short-lived TV series. Today, it is a cult favorite and regarded as an inspiration for The X-Files. (Years later, McGavin would appear in a recurring role on The X-Files as a character resembling Kolchak.)
Movie and miniseries work continued for McGavin in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1983, he appeared in the holiday classic A Christmas Story as the bumbling, ill-tempered but loving father. The 1990s saw a slowdown for McGavin, but he was nominated for an Emmy for his work on Murphy Brown.
Darren McGavin passed away in 2006, but he leaves behind a legacy of great performances and characters that will remain with audiences for decades to come.
Darren McGavin's Scores