The death after a short illness of That Guy Who Was In That Thing
That Time brings to a premature end one of the most paradoxical careers in
silver screen history. That Guy, known fondly to his friends as "Thingy", was
Hollywood's most prolific screen actor and yet one of the least well-known of
his generation. In a career spanning almost 30 years, That Guy appeared in 87
That Guy Who Was In That Thing That One Time -- A Retrospective
From the very beginning of his career, acting in stage repertory in
Boston, his unconventionally handsome looks led him to be cast in supporting
roles. Legend has it that his screen career began almost accidentally when
Steven Spielberg, mistaking him for Dennis Weaver, cast him in That Film
Where They Think The Germans Are Invading (as "Nasty Officer").
The role that truly launched him to minor celebrity was not to come
until two years later, with his semi-regular appearances as Maurice, the
unpleasant lodger, on That Show With Those Two Ladies.
The late 70s brought a flurry of minor roles, including several
appearances in Disney live-action features, of which the most fondly
remembered is probably his performance as Major Dittmeyer in That One Movie
Where The Kid Is A Robot (1978-ish). The pressure of the public's vague
familiarity with him proved difficult for That Guy to handle, and in 1980 he
took a year off to tackle his semi-dependence on NyQuil. The support of his
family allowed him to return to work the following year. During the 80s and
early 90s he appeared in a variety of comedy-thrillers opposite stars such as
Steve Guttenburg, Whoopi Goldberg, Gene Wilder and Chevy Chase, invariably as
a corrupt CIA agent. It is undoubtedly these roles which made him vaguely
familiar to millions.
In more recent years, he specialised in indiscriminately taking parts
in everything he was offered. He showed his darker side as the unscrupulous
vice-president of the sinister Corporation in That Weird Thing Where They
Mess With The Guy's Mind (about 1995). In a sly tribute to his earlier
successes, he appeared as corrupt FBI agent Maurice Dittmeyer in That
Paranormal Show, before completing his most recent motion picture, That One
With The Monkey, last year.
He never forgot his theatrical roots, however. His final project was
a triumphant Broadway production of 'Hamlet', in which he played Rosencrantz.