Sunday, March 1, 2015

Richard Bakalyan, 1931-2015

Wikipedia's obituaries page is announcing the death of actor Richard Bakalyan at the age of 84, although it hasn't reached the major news outlets yet as the only mention so far seems to be a local newspaper obituary reposted to

Bakalyan is one of those actors where I saw the name and though, "That name sure sounds familiar, although I can't think of anything he was in offhand." But Bakalyan had a long career playing supporting characters in all sorts of films from the late 50s onward. One of his first films was The Delinquents, which had him playing an underling in the gang that terrorizes the good guy who just made a dumb mistake because society doesn't care about teens enough.

IMDb lists a credit for Panic in Year Zero!, but since he wasn't in the main family I couldn't tell you exactly where to look for Bakalyan. As I said, he spent his career doing supporting work.

That same year, Bakalyan appeared alongside Bobby Darin in Pressure Point, which led to a friendship that lasted for the rest of Darin's life until his early death in 1973.

For a change of pace, try Von Ryan's Express; if memory serves, Bakalyan plays the US Army man translating with the Italians.

A different sort of Italian-American would be in The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, a docudrama about the Chicago gangland massacre on February 14, 1929.

Bakalyan's career really took a turn in the late 1960s when he started working at Disney, making stuff like The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes or The Strongest Man in the World, interspersed with more serious work elsewhere like a role in Chinatown. There was also a large body of TV work.

No comments: