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Also Known As: Died: September 11, 2010
Born: February 15, 1914 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Seattle, Washington, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A prolific performer who bridged the divide between leading man of decidedly B-movies and character player in more prestige offerings, Kevin McCarthy was a working actor since he made his Broadway debut in "Abe Lincoln in Illinois" (1938). The younger brother of famed writer Mary McCarthy, he served in the U.S. Air Force during WWII, toured in "Winged Victory," and reprised his stage role in the 1944 film. But McCarthy earned more attention for what was considered his feature acting debut - the role of the disillusioned son Biff in the 1951 screen adaptation of Arthur Miller's classic, "Death of a Salesman." Nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, the actor seemed poised for a major film career. He marked time, however, until Don Siegel cast him as Dr. Miles Bennel in the sci-fi classic, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1956). As the somewhat hysterical survivor of a community infested by space alien pod people, McCarthy anchored the film which only grew in stature since its initial release. In fact, in Philip Kaufman's 1978 remake, the actor had a small but pivotal role that was an homage to the original. His subsequent film career included playing Henry Fonda's campaign aide in "The Best Man"...

A prolific performer who bridged the divide between leading man of decidedly B-movies and character player in more prestige offerings, Kevin McCarthy was a working actor since he made his Broadway debut in "Abe Lincoln in Illinois" (1938). The younger brother of famed writer Mary McCarthy, he served in the U.S. Air Force during WWII, toured in "Winged Victory," and reprised his stage role in the 1944 film. But McCarthy earned more attention for what was considered his feature acting debut - the role of the disillusioned son Biff in the 1951 screen adaptation of Arthur Miller's classic, "Death of a Salesman." Nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, the actor seemed poised for a major film career. He marked time, however, until Don Siegel cast him as Dr. Miles Bennel in the sci-fi classic, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1956). As the somewhat hysterical survivor of a community infested by space alien pod people, McCarthy anchored the film which only grew in stature since its initial release. In fact, in Philip Kaufman's 1978 remake, the actor had a small but pivotal role that was an homage to the original. His subsequent film career included playing Henry Fonda's campaign aide in "The Best Man" (1964), a roller derby magnate in "Kansas City Bomber" (1972), and a smarmy lobbyist in "The Distinguished Gentlemen" (1992).

The stage-trained McCarthy frequently appeared on Broadway throughout his career, notably as Jerry in "Two for the Seesaw" (1959) and Van Ackerman in "Advise and Consent" (1960). He has also scored a personal triumph as President Harry Truman in the one-man show "Give 'Em Hell, Harry!" But the busy actor perhaps found the best outlet for his talent on the small screen. A frequent guest actor, McCarthy co-starred with Lana Turner on the short-lived series, "The Survivors" (ABC, 1969-1970). He was engaging as the wealthy patriarch of a Florida family on the primetime soap "Flamingo Road" (NBC, 1981-83), but fared less well as the romantic interest for Beatrice Arthur in the short-lived sitcom, "Amanda's" (ABC, 1983). In 1987, he portrayed Franklyn Hutton, the father of Barbara Hutton (Farrah Fawcett) in the NBC miniseries "Poor Little Rich Girl," while in the 1995 biography, "Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story" (NBC), he played Sol Siegel and was in turn played onscreen as a character by actor Patrick Robert Smith. McCarthy showed no signs of retiring, playing the chief of staff in the acclaimed HBO movie "The Second Civil War" (1997) and recurring on the critically lauded drama, "The District" (CBS, 2000-04), as well as numerous feature films - continuing an astonishing output well into his 90s. The esteemed actor passed away on Sept. 11, 2010 at the age of 96.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Slipstream (2007)
3.
 Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003) Dr Bennell
4.
 Addams Family Reunion (1998) Grandpa Addams
5.
 Second Civil War, The (1997) Chief Of Staff
6.
 Just Cause (1995) Phil
7.
 Steal Big, Steal Little (1995) Reed Tyler
8.
 Sister-in-Law, The (1995) George Richards
9.
 Judicial Consent (1995) Judge Pollan
10.
 Greedy (1994) Bartlett
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1938:
Made his Broadway debut in "Abe Lincoln in Illinois"
1942:
Served in the US Air Force; achieved rank of sergeant
1944:
Toured in "Winged Victory"; reprised role in the film version
1949:
London stage debut, played Biff in Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman"
1949:
Made TV debut playing Romeo in "Romeo & Juliet" on "Cameo Theatre"
1951:
Earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for playing Biff in the film version of "Death of a Salesman"
1956:
Had perhaps best-known film role as Dr. Miles Bennel in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"
1959:
Replaced Henry Fonda as Jerry Ryan in "Two for the Seesaw" on Broadway; also toured with the show
1960:
Played the title role in an episode of "The Twilight Zone" entitled "Long Live Walter Jameson"
1960:
Starred on Broadway as Van Ackerman in "Advise and Consent"
1969:
TV-movie debut, "U.M.C." (CBS)
1969:
Debut as series regular on ABC's "The Survivors"
1978:
Made cameo appearance in the remake of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"
1980:
First playe Claude Weldon in the NBC movie "Flamingo Road"
1980:
Reprised role of Claude Weldon in the NBC series version of "Flamingo Road"
1983:
Cast as Beatrice Arthur's brother-in-law on the short-lived ABC sitcom "Amanda's"
1984:
First screen collaboration with Joe Dante, "Twilight Zone - The Movie"
1987:
Portrayed Barbara Hutton's father in the NBC miniseries "Poor Little Rich Girl"
1987:
First appeared as Harry Truman in the one-man show "Give 'Em Hell, Harry!" at the Pasadena Playhouse; later toured with the show
1992:
Co-starred in "The Distinguished Gentleman"
1993:
Had uncredited role in the film-within-the-film in Joe Dante's "Matinee"
1995:
Cast as Sol Siegel in the NBC miniseries "Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story"; in the same production McCarthy was portrayed by actor Patrick Robert Smith
1996:
Was featured as a film director in the interactive CD-ROM "The Pandora Detective"
1997:
Appeared in the HBO movie "The Second Civil War"
2000:
Portrayed King Arthur in the stage play "Knights of the Round Table"
2007:
Appeared as himself in the Anthony Hopkins film "Slipstream"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Campion Jesuit High School: Prairie du Chien , Wisconsin -
Actors Studio: New York , New York -
School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University: Washington , Washington D.C. - 1933 - 1934
University of Minnesota: Minneapolis , Minnesota - 1936 - 1938

Notes

He has an official website at www.bodysnatchers.com

"I must say the thing that gives me the greatest pleasure is to hear people laugh. I'm a theater actor. I came out of the theater and started in theater back in the University of Minnesota, and all the background I have had on Broadway, and in films and then into television and radio, I usually found ways to make audiences laugh. I think I have a reputation for being a legitimate actor with an appeal to do nutty things." --Kevin McCarthy

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Augusta Dabney. Actor. Divorced.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Roy Winfield McCarthy.
mother:
Martha Therese McCarthy.
sister:
Mary McCarthy. Writer. Born on June 21, 1912; died on October 25, 1989.
daughter:
Lillah McCarthy. TV producer, executive. Mother, Augusta Dabney.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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