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Comedian Severn Darden attended the University of Chicago and was an original member of the famed Chicago comedy troupe Second City. While working there, his best-known character was Professor Walther von der Vogelweide, who gave lectures that often went off into wild digressions and tangents. In the early 1960s, Darden began making guest appearances on various television shows then landed strong comedic roles in feature films like "Luv" and "The President's Analyst." In 1969, Darden showed his more serious side, appearing in the heavy drama "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" with Jane Fonda; in addition, he played a hypnotist in the adaptation of Joan Didion's "Play It As It Lays" in 1972. Darden also got a chance to play the villain in two "Planet of the Apes" films. He took on the role of Kolp, a human antagonist to the ape, Caesar, in 1972's "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes" and 1973's "Battle for the Planet of the Apes." In the late 1970s, Darden made an impression as Popesco on the cult television comedy "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman," and in the '80s, he made guest appearances on comedy shows, most notably "Cheers," and offered expert comic support in the 1985 Rodney Dangerfield vehicle "Back to School."
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