Movie News

Rest In Peace Kevin McCarthy

Published at: Sept. 12, 2010, 5:51 p.m. CST

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. I was woken up today by a phone call from Harry accusing me of killing Kevin McCarthy. My last entry in the Behind the Scenes Picture of the Day was of McCarthy’s star-making role in the template-setting sci-fi film INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS and now news hits of the passing of the great actor.

I think every generation starting with the kids who saw Invasion of the Body Snatchers in ’56 have a genuine soft spot for this man. That’s a testament to his work ethic and his continuing energy, even into his 70s and 80s. It’s not every actor that has impacted grandparents, parents and grandchildren the way McCarthy did. For me, it was Joe Dante’s INNERSPACE and segment of the TWILIGHT ZONE movie and the Weird Al Yankovich film UHF that first introduced me to McCarthy. My impression of the man as a kid was the kinda scary mean bad guy with a crooked smile.

As I grew older I found the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the great 1978 remake which he also featured in, The Howling, Piranha (which I'll always remember for his crazed pronunciation of "Pir-an-yah!") and his Oscar-nominated turn in 1952’s Death of a Salesman. The man was a powerhouse on Broadway (known for his one-man show Give ‘em Hell, Harry), TV (having appeared in everything from The Twilight Zone to Mission: Impossible and The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) and movies. In fact, he was a founding member of The Actor’s Studio. McCarthy was a tough guy. He was orphaned at the age of four when his parents were killed by the flu epidemic of 1918, but persevered and made a name for himself. With over 200 roles on the big and small screen, McCarthy lived life to its fullest and we’re all the better for it. His contribution to the art of cinema will not be forgotten. I’ll conclude with a few odds and ends, including some home video footage of young Marlon Brando and Karl Malden playing around with Kevin McCarthy’s kid and some photos from the making of Invasion of the Body Snatchers from the same fella, by the name of Scott, who sent the original shot used in the BtSPotD.









My thoughts are with Mr. McCarthy’s friends, family and fans. You will be missed, sir. -Quint quint@aintitcool.com Follow Me On Twitter



Readers Talkback

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  • Sept. 12, 2010, 6:30 p.m. CST

    It is Quint's fault

    by HEADGEEK

    I just know it

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 6:34 p.m. CST

    RIP mr McCarth

    by KilliK

    loved him as the baddie in Innerspace.I have only seen the 70s remake of Body Snatchers but i am going to watch the original asap. <p>and yes its a bit eerie that he died after Quint posted his BTS pic.the mysterious ways of the universe.

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 6:34 p.m. CST

    Weird...

    by Fletch Gannon

    After seeing the pic I did a wiki search and found to my relief that he was still alive...and that was just this morning. RIP Mr. McCarthy, always enjoyed seeing your familiar face in whatever project you showed up in.

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 6:35 p.m. CST

    rip

    by tha plow

    Press the green button, you fool!

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 6:39 p.m. CST

    If Quint's pics really have that power...

    by lochkray

    Could you show a behind-the-scenes photo from "I know who killed me" tomorrow? Outside of that, rest in peace Mr.McCarthy. Condolences to the family.

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 6:39 p.m. CST

    R.I.P Kevin McCarthy.

    by alan_poon

    It always pissed me off that he went through all that in the original just to come to an ignominious ending in the sequel/remake.

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 6:40 p.m. CST

    You're next!

    by PhilipMarlowe

    I see he was still acting this year. Not a bad legacy at all.

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 6:40 p.m. CST

    Just saw him on tv today

    by I am not a number

    Had a bit part in LOONEY TOONS: BACK IN ACTION riffing on his INVASION OF THE BODYSNATCHERS role - one of the few highlights of that LT:BIA. Sorry to hear of his death.

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 6:42 p.m. CST

    We all are going to be the next...

    by KilliK

    thats the only sure thing in this world.

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 6:43 p.m. CST

    RIP McCarthy, and also Claude Chabrol

    by palimpsest

    A bad day for the movies.

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 6:44 p.m. CST

    RIP AICN

    by RPLocke

    Is it me, or has this site been hard to get into today.

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 6:48 p.m. CST

    RIP

    by ColonelFatheart

    YOU'RE NEXT!!!!!

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 6:48 p.m. CST

    Thought he had already passed on

    by TRON

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 6:49 p.m. CST

    Agreed lockray...

    by Fletch Gannon

    Howsabout throwing up a pic of Bret Ratner or those two guys doing those parody movies?

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 6:49 p.m. CST

    RPLocke no its not only you

    by KilliK

    same problem here

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 6:51 p.m. CST

    Post a Behind the Scenes from Transformers, please

    by ShabbyBlue

    Then maybe Michael Bay, Megan Fox, AND Shia will all kick the bucket tomorrow.

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 6:51 p.m. CST

    He was great in "UHF"

    by ricarleite2

    Will be missed

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 6:53 p.m. CST

    Please don't post a pic of William Shatner

    by RPLocke

    He's got a new show coming out.

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 6:58 p.m. CST

    The Ghastley Love of Johnny X

    by PhilipMarlowe

    What ever happened to it?

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 7:02 p.m. CST

    Spent time with Kevin McCarty

    by Capone

    I had the great fortune of spending a large part of a weekend here in Chicago at what I believe was the first Flashback Weekend convention. He signed a UHF poster for me, and I even got to drive him around from event to event a couple times during the course of the event. He was the sweetest, funniest man who was gracious to each and every fan who came up to say hi. It was a true honor to spend that time with such a legend and a truly nice man. Miss him already.

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 7:03 p.m. CST

    RIP. Damn, no Innerspace 2 for sure now!

    by Drath

    There was a time when that was up there with more Star Wars movies on my want-list of movie sequels. Ah th 90s, when so much seemed so close...

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 7:04 p.m. CST

    the man was in pretty much everything

    by zom-bot.com

    yet i only knew of him for the most part as the character actor of 'crabby old man' until recently when i got off my ass and started watching classic TV and movies. RIP

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 7:04 p.m. CST

    Wheel of Fish

    by edwardpenishands

    I piss my self laughing everytime the Asain guys jump out of the closet and yells supplies.Oh yea, sorry the really really old guy that no one has givin a thought to in 20yrs kicked the bucket.

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 7:07 p.m. CST

    edwardpenishands

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Good to see you living up to the middle part of your name.

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 7:09 p.m. CST

    that sucks

    by kurtisaurus

    RIP Mr. McCarthy. Always loved it when he would show up in something, and yeah now I need to finally see the original Body Snatchers to complete the set.

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 7:10 p.m. CST

    I guess he finally fell asleep.

    by WALKNDED

    I meet him at a horror / sci-fi Convention years ago... sad just sad ..a truly great man.

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 7:14 p.m. CST

    Its funny because it true

    by edwardpenishands

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 7:25 p.m. CST

    Make today's Pic of the Day..

    by ShogunMaster

    Michael Bay!! Maybe he'll keel off and we can get something productive out of it. <p> Condolences to Mr. McCarthy's family.

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 7:28 p.m. CST

    RIP Mr. McCarthy

    by BadMrWonka

    so hilarious in UHF. I'm gonna have to watch that again.<p>oh, and the day Quint posted the BTS Princess Bride pic, there was an announcement made that Cary Elwes acting career, (which had long been lingering on life support) had officially died. <p>Quint, can you post an M Night Shyamalan pic ASAP? Not with any other actors in it, just him sitting in a chair or something...or possibly with Mel Gibson.

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 7:32 p.m. CST

    Somebody should put Death out of its misery...

    by SoylentMean

    Why haven't we solved this problem yet? R.I.P. Mr. McCarthy, you helped foster my own sense of increasing paranoia.

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 7:33 p.m. CST

    enjoyed him as a bad guy in movies

    by BEYONDTHUNDERDOME2GIRLS1CUPBILLCOSBY

    UHF in particular he was amazing in, and, of course, the A-team episode. He worked with Robert Rodriguez in Roadracers.

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 7:33 p.m. CST

    Quint to demand a raise

    by thelordofhell

    Or Harry will be in the next behind-the-scenes pic

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 7:34 p.m. CST

    my first exposure to him was in UHF

    by RedBull_Werewolf

    I watched that movie so much as a kid, he was a great actor, rip

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 7:39 p.m. CST

    also he was great in that twilight zone episode

    by RedBull_Werewolf

    He was immortal or something and one of his old wifes shots him for lying to her, the episode had a great reveal where mccarthy suddenly grows old. I was an adult be fore i realised how they achieved that effect, and it ws as simple as age lines painted in red and a light being shone on them at the right moment..ahhh black and white film

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 7:45 p.m. CST

    I'm going to sit here with my friend... Jack

    by THAT__SAID

    Great actor.

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 7:50 p.m. CST

    great movie, great role, great actor

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    all came together - RIP Mr McCarthy

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 8:04 p.m. CST

    There ya see?!! It was Ethel!!!

    by UltraTron

    What a gigantic loss. So missed the academy award for zone. His Uncle Walt(Disney ref?)One of the greatest performances and truely the heart of that sequence. Should have hosted next men in black like graves

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 8:06 p.m. CST

    To answer your question- we haven't put death out

    by UltraTron

    of business because of too many moron republican senators banning stem-cells

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 8:07 p.m. CST

    GET BACK IN HERE, YOU SAFEWAY CLERK!

    by frank cotton

    RIP

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 8:15 p.m. CST

    @ thelordofhell

    by Fletch Gannon

    So the next pic will be of Rocky Dennis with a ham sandwich?

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 8:21 p.m. CST

    Enjoyed his work.

    by BurnedNotice_Dude

    RIP

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 8:55 p.m. CST

    A ghostbuster will die this year

    by TheJudger

    And GB3 will die with him.

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 8:56 p.m. CST

    Long Live Walter Jameson...

    by carlotta_valdes

    ...can't believe it hadn't been said. Rest easy Mr McCarthy.

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 9:08 p.m. CST

    I met him at Wonderfest a few years back.

    by The Reluctant Austinite

    He was funny as hell. He did a MST3K style live commentary on one of his own movies. He loved poking fun at himself. Ah Wonderfest, thank God for Wonderfest. RIP, sir.

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 9:17 p.m. CST

    Seriously?

    by Adelai Niska

    Like 5 hours ago I posted that it was cool he was still alive. Damn. R.I.P.

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 9:39 p.m. CST

    Great character actor!

    by Powerring

    Always liked his on screen presence. RIP!

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 9:51 p.m. CST

    very few horror films gave me nightmares as a kid

    by brabon300

    body snatchers was one....because of mr mccarthy's riveting performance<p>we have lost a giant today

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 9:51 p.m. CST

    R.I.P.

    by blackwood

    Weird that I knew who he was but never knew his name until now. Rest in peace.

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 10:33 p.m. CST

    Victor Scrimshaw is no more

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    "Putter, don't be a putz, get in here...!"

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 10:54 p.m. CST

    Harry you insensitive asshole...

    by choonie

    Go back to falling asleep while watching INCEPTION

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 11:08 p.m. CST

    RIP

    by blunted666

    Just pulled out Piranha for the first time in forever before seeing the remake. I think the most current thing I remember seeing him in was Deadwood?

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 11:10 p.m. CST

    @choonie

    by blackhole4140

    Spot on.

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 11:57 p.m. CST

    One of the best of the best.

    by JuanSanchez

  • Sept. 12, 2010, 11:57 p.m. CST

    first time I noticed him

    by mrsheldrake

    was in one of the Pink Panther movies, with Dyan Cannon too, I think. I just thought, wow, that is one handsome dude. The problem with casting him in those roles was that he looked like the leading man.

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 12:27 a.m. CST

    Sad News Indeed...

    by Sith Witch

    I met him back around 2000 and asked him to sign a #2 pencil, since his UHF character was so fond of them. He politely declined, saying he'd have to cramp his hand too much for something that small, but was game for signing a regular photo. He'll be sorely missed!

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 12:39 a.m. CST

    R.I.P

    by disfigurehead

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 1:12 a.m. CST

    nice obit quint...

    by billyhitchcock1

    ...please don't let merrick do any more. they always sound so insensitive.

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 1:28 a.m. CST

    Peace to him and condolences to his friends and family.

    by Dennis_Moore

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 1:34 a.m. CST

    Giant Applause

    by MrDexter

    during the 2011 Oscar remembrance thing—guaranteed

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 2:04 a.m. CST

    Really? Gone?

    by Ulf_Claesson

    Man, it seems like he's been around forever, and would go on forever. Yet here comes that tall dark stranger (to quote Woody Allen) and takes him away to the great beyond. Damn!!

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 2:36 a.m. CST

    He was great in Twilight Zone

    by hallmitchell

    The tv show and the film. RIP.

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 3:11 a.m. CST

    Those black and white photos...

    by Ulf_Claesson

    There is a great nostalgic feeling in them, for a time long gone, when films were well written, well made and took TIME to unfold on the big screen. Today, almost a whole film is supposed to happen furing the first 5 minutes, and in 9 cases out of 10, that sucks. Bring back Hitchcock, Ford, Lang and those guys. Resurrect their asses and make them start making films again, as they once did. We need them.

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 4:04 a.m. CST

    RIP, MistarManReturns

    by Ulf_Claesson

    RIP-RIP-RIP-RIP-RIP-RIP-RIP-RIP-RIP-RIP-RIP-RIP-RIP-RIP-RIP-RIP-RIP-RIP-RIP-RIP-RIP-RIP-RIP-RIP-

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 4:14 a.m. CST

    Who started this "RIP" mania?

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    You never been to a funeral, MisterManReturns? Seen a tombstone?<p>Have some respect for the recently departed. God, knows we never got the chance to properly say goodbye to Ed McMahaon...

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 4:16 a.m. CST

    The CHOPPAH'S insomnia is acting up...

    by THE_CHOPPAH

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 4:24 a.m. CST

    THEY'RE HERE ALREADY!!!...

    by Master Bruce

    A true talent, & by all acounts, a decent man too. Condolences to his family & friends. And for those of you who still haven't seen the original INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS...see it! Kevin McCarthy's performance coupled w/the direction of the equally talented Don Siegel make this one of the most finely crafted sci-fi/horror films ever made! And w/Halloween upon us, it's the perfect time of year to watch it. You'll thank me later.

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 5:34 a.m. CST

    Post a pic of Megan Fox or Owen Wilson

    by jawsfan

    Please.

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 6:24 a.m. CST

    no

    by CuervoJones

    Today i´m talking to Joe Dante on a chat. Is going to be a sad moment.

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 6:38 a.m. CST

    Great Actor

    by SonOfChiba

    Always loved his cameo in the remake of Body snatchers. God speed, Sir - rest in peace.

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 7:53 a.m. CST

    Kevin McCarthy!

    by Barrymore

    Always fun to see him in the movies! He was quietly one of my favorite actors! He'll be missed!

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 8:11 a.m. CST

    Instead of CHAMpagne, how about some REAL pain?

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    Propane...?

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 8:32 a.m. CST

    'You Idiot! Does this LOOK like a No. 2 Pencil??!' 'But Dad!'

    by George Newman

    "SHUT UP!!" <p>McCarthy is an incredible actor with fantastic facial expressions, which are utilized to the max in UHF. You don't have to look any farther than my SN here to see that I'm a fan. Rest in Peace

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 8:44 a.m. CST

    I read somewhere that he was abused as a child...

    by Moonwatcher

    His sister was the author Mary McCarthy, and the people who adopted them were incredibly cruel. Somehow they survived and became great at what they did. Outside of Body Snatchers, my favorite memories of him are Innerspace and Matinee. Rest well, sir - you've earned it.

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Sorry to read this,RIP Mr. McCarthy

    by JimmyPasta

    At an autograph show about 12 years ago in Chicago,Mr. McCarthy was there along with Robert Vaughn and a few others. He seemed like a jovial man always smiling. He was a damn good actor,too.

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Festering bowl of dogsnot!

    by tangcameo

    My favourite Kevin McCarthy line ever! From 'UHF' of all movies! R.I.P. Kevin. Now the invasion of the pod people can finally conclude!

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Damn... I loved him in Mannequin. He died so young..

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    (sob) <p> sorry folks... poor form. <p> But I loved this man, I figured he more than anyone would see the humour. He was one funny guy.

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Vidiot from UHF (Aussie title) is dear to my heart.

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    McCarthy is a biiig reason. Him and Stanley Spadowsksi(sic)...

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 10:44 a.m. CST

    I thought of Kevin McCarthy and "is he still alive?"

    by skimn

    when Quint posted that Invasion BTS photo. I saw the original (YOU'RE NEXT!!) many, many years ago on TV, and I've enjoyed his work, esp with Joe Dante, ever since. And looking at IMDB, he was still knockin' them out.

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 10:59 a.m. CST

    UHF... why hasn't Weird Al been allowed to make more

    by BetterCallSaul

    movies. RIP Kevin McCarthy.

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 11:19 a.m. CST

    I watched Invasion repeatedly as a kid.

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    It wasn't until adulthood that I was able to watch the whole thing uninterupted. It's classic, and I don't see how another actor could have done it. RIP.

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Thank you for wonderful Saturday afternoons...

    by matineer

    watching Bodysnatchers and many other roles, Mr. McCarthy.

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 1:14 p.m. CST

    A sad, sad day...

    by RobinP

    sorry to hear the bad news that another legend and staple of my formative movie watching years has passed away. He graciously signed a still from the closing of Invasion of the Bodysnatchers which is framed and mounted on my study wall. Time to watch the movie again, in tribute.

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 1:14 p.m. CST

    always remember his Twilight Zone work

    by oisin5199

    I'm surprised he was still alive. But this guy was a workhorse. I'll raise a glass tonight!

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 1:16 p.m. CST

    He had a great speech in Innerspace....

    by amrisharmpit

    When he talked about why miniaturization was the preferred technology over nuclear weapons ("Everybody's got 'em, nobody's got the balls to use 'em") and space weapons ("An endless junkyard of orbiting debris"). He delivered the dialogue so brilliantly. A great actor in everything I saw him in. RIP.

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Original "Invasion" freaked me out!

    by thot

    I must have been aroung the age 12 when first saw it, late at night after everyone else had fallen asleep. Been one of my favorites ever since. Even enjoyed the remake with Donald Sutherland. RIP Mr. McCarthy.

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 2:03 p.m. CST

    Kevin McC at Rocket

    by RottNElsewhere

    I met Kevin several times over the years, always a great guy (and like right out of INVASION/BS). When he appeared at Rocket Video in 04 I was his driver, had to go get him and all. He griped all through the drive through the canyon (even yelling at some guy in a convertible stopped at a light when dude's hip-hop got Kevin all fuzzed-up). The turnout was too light for Kevin, so he was a little pissed - but was gracious enough to phone my wife (who couldn't make the event) at home and throw his "You're Next" routine at her. That was the last memory I have of him - he will be missed. RIP K McC!

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 2:14 p.m. CST

    oh yeah, and later that night

    by RottNElsewhere

    we got bogged down in traffic next to a bunch of crazy kids in a jeep in West HW...While they're all busting on me for cruising with my "grandfather," who was that class act in the back (whose smell I still can't get outta the fucking car six years later), having to assert himself/be more than up to the challenge to pick the fight? Ex-GLOW fleabag D "Dogshit" D. Doug, if you're out there, I hope you got a new suit (with a different color pen like smashed up into the asscrack; blue didn't go with "off"-white). Ok, so that's a slightly later LAST MEMORY of Kevin McC, and I'm glad he wasn't armed.

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 4:33 p.m. CST

    Shit, those are the 2 movies I was introduced to him with

    by JT Kirk

    Innerspace and UHF! And he left a lasting impact, I still use "festering ball of dog snot" all the time in his style. Sad to see him go, but at least he worked up until his death.

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 5:23 p.m. CST

    96?

    by TedKordLives

    Jebus, he hung in there, huh? Well, RIP and all that jazz...

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 5:35 p.m. CST

    Saw "Invasion ..." at the cinema..

    by Carl's hat

    ...several times. What a honey Dana Wynter was. They don't make 'em like that anymore.

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 6:09 p.m. CST

    Great actor

    by judge dredds fresh undies

    96, damn, good innings. I remember being shocked to hear him on the Innerspace commentary a few years ago. He must have been at least in his late 80s then and he still sounded sprightly.

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 10:44 p.m. CST

    SLIPSTREAM

    by Anything But Tangerines

    watch Anthony Hopkins's BIZARRE film for a fitting send-off to Kevin McCarthy

  • Sept. 14, 2010, 1:54 a.m. CST

    I remember him from Innerspace too

    by Orionsangels

    Him and that woman got tiny and they're in the car trying to stop Martin Short lol! Great movie! I remember his face best with the Twilight Zone movie though. Great character actor! RIP

  • Sept. 14, 2010, 8:16 a.m. CST

    Shoulda included the 'Invasion of the Bodysnatchers' trailer...

    by Cervantes