Dennis Weaver has passed away at age 81.
The actor was best known for his TV roles in Gunsmoke and McCloud in which he displayed a laconic, cowboy cool, but I have a special place in my heart for the more hysterical Weaver—specifically his performance in Duel.
Directed by the then unknown Steven Spielberg, Duel pits Weaver against an ominous existential force—a mysterious truck intent to kill him. Why? Who knows. But the premise is just as tense and action packed as it is philosophically frightening. Talk about being chased by karma. And Weaver as the sweating-bullets, panic-stricken everyman carries the film with a powerful desperation.
I also liked his creepy hotel desk clerk in Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil—a small part but important, sleazy ambience for Janet Leigh’s impending rape.
More than just McCloud Mr. Weaver will be greatly missed.
I know death is imminent but I really hope a new trend isn't starting. Can't they all live as long as Katharine Hepburn or Billy Wilder?