Thayer David was a film and television character actor from the late 1950s through the late '70s. A veteran of the Broadway stage before launching into television on various theater programs, David may have lacked something in appearance, but he compensated with his voice. The raspy-throated actor used his instrument to portray multiple characters on the gothic soap opera "Dark Shadows" from 1966 to 1971, and lent his voice to numerous commercials and narrations over his relatively brief career. In film, he was Count Saknussem in the Jules Verne-adapted 1959 fantasy epic "Journey to the Center of the Earth" with Pat Boone and James Mason, and in the early '70s he played two consecutive reverends, first in Arthur Penn's Native American drama "Little Big Man," then in the mystery horror "Night of Dark Shadows," the feature film version of the TV show, in which he co-starred with "Dark Shadows" alumni David Selby, Grayson Hall, and Kate Jackson. In 1975 and 1976, David gained wider visibility through his roles as Dragon in the Clint Eastwood action movie "The Eiger Sanction" and as the fight promoter George Jergens in the underdog boxing classic "Rocky." At the end of a busy decade, David was cast as the title detective in the TV movie pilot "Nero Wolfe," a great opportunity for him to helm a series, only to be thwarted by his early death, from a heart attack, at just 51.