Darren McGavin

Darren McGavin (May 7, 1922 – February 25, 2006) was an American actor best known for playing the title role in the television horror series Kolchak: The Night Stalker and his portrayal in the film A Christmas Story of the grumpy father given to bursts of profanity that he never realizes his son overhears. He appeared as the tough-talking, funny detective in the 1950s television series Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer. From 1959-1961, McGavin starred in the NBC western series Riverboat, first with Burt Reynolds and then with Noah Beery, Jr., and in later years, he had a recurring role in the sitcom Murphy Brown, as the title character's father, for which he received an Emmy Award. McGavin was born William Lyle Richardson in Spokane, Washington, a son of Grace Watson (née Bogart) and Reed Daniel Richardson. He graduated from Puyallup High School. In magazine interviews in the 1960s, he said his parents divorced when he was very young. His father, not knowing what else to do, put him in an orphanage at the age of 11. McGavin began to run away, sleeping on the docks and in warehouses. He lived in three orphanages.


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