Flash! Kevin McCarthy reported dead

Flash! Kevin McCarthy reported dead

If you’ve ever referred to an unemotional coworker as a “pod person”, you probably have Kevin McCarthy to thank. 

The veteran actor starred in the 1956 classic, Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  

If you ever read film analysis books that include science fiction, you’ll see Body Snatchers discussed in serious terms…not something that always happens.  It will be called a metaphor for fear of the “commie menace”.

All that may be true, but McCarthy’s performance is a large part of why the movie (although not a financial success initially) has become part of pop culture.  When he is in the street yelling, “You’re next!” his desperation is palpable. 

Although that role would, for many people, define his career, his list of credits (genre and otherwise) is impressive.  He was a popular TV guest star in the 1960s, appearing on The Twilight Zone, Honey West, the Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Invaders, and many more. 

His other genre movie work includes the original Piranha, The Howling…and the remake of Body Snatchers with Donald Sutherland.

In the 1980e played Claude Weldon on the nighttime soap, Flamingo Road.

He continued to work, right through this year…often in roles of characters in authority, like politicians and military men.  One of his most famous stage roles combined the two, with a one-man show as Harry Truman.

Most people may not remember now that he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor for Death of a Salesman (and won the Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer for the same role).  While that early critical success may have been overshadowed by appearing in a science fiction classic, his fans never forgot him.

Good-bye, Kevin…without you, our paranoia would never have been the same.

Kevin McCarthy at IMDb

Playbill obituary

Reuters obituary

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle


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