HYANNIS, Mass. -- Actor Kevin McCarthy, who played the frantic doctor trying to save his friends and neighbors in the science-fiction movie classic "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," has died at age 96.
McCarthy died Saturday, said Cape Cod Hospital spokesman Dave
Riley, who wouldn't reveal the cause of death or any other details.
Abe Lincoln in Illinois."
Soon after, he became an early member of the Actors Studio and
was chosen by Elia Kazan to play Biff, the son of Willy Loman, in
the London production of "Death of a Salesman." He repeated the
role in the 1951 film starring Fredric March and earned an Oscar
nomination as supporting actor.
But while he would consistently win praise for his acting during
a long and busy career, his most lasting fame would come for
"Invasion of the Body Snatchers." In the 1956 film, he vainly
tried to warn residents in his small town of the evil pod people
from outer space who were quietly taking over the personalities of
everyone on Earth.
His frantic shouting of "You're next!" to those in approaching
cars became so well known among science-fiction fans that he was
often asked to spoof the role. He more or less did that in the
opening minutes of the 1978 remake, which starred Donald Sutherland
as the hero menaced by the pod people.
"Body Snatchers" flopped at the box office, considered too
bleak for audiences of the time. It was elevated to classic status,
and its star to iconic status, after such critics as Francois
Truffault hailed it and late-night television programmers embraced
McCarthy's other films included "A Gathering of Eagles," "The
Best Man," "Mirage," "Hotel," "The Howling," "Twilight
Zone- The Movie," "Inner Space," "Dark Tower," "Just Cause,"
"The Distinguished Gentleman" and "Steal Big, Steal Little."
He also appeared in one other classic film, although in a much
smaller role. He was Marilyn Monroe's estranged husband in her last
movie, 1961's "The Misfits."
He originally turned down the role when director John Huston
approached him, complaining that it was too small.
"I finally said I would do it if they paid me $100 a word," he
recalled in 2003. "Turns out I had 29 words. I should have asked
McCarthy also worked frequently in television, appearing in TV
movies, miniseries and such series as "The Survivors," "Flamingo
Road" and "Amanda's."
Comic accordion player "Weird Al" Yankovic cast McCarthy in
his movie "UHF" and several of his videos, and the actor appeared
in more than two dozen episodes of the CBS Radio Mystery Theater.
In 1978, he began touring in the one-man show "Give 'em Hell,
Harry," playing the Harry Truman role created by James Whitmore.
Over the years he appeared as Truman in 350 venues.
McCarthy was born in Seattle on Feb. 15, 1914. He, his sister,
author Mary McCarthy, and their two brothers were orphaned when
their parents died in the 1918 influenza epidemic. They were raised
His first marriage, to Augusta Dabney, produced three children.
His second, to Kate Crane, produced two children.
"Body Snatchers" Actor Kevin McCarthy Dead at 96
McCarthy's acting career took off in 1938 with his Broadway debut in "Abe Lincoln in Illinois."
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