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G.D. Spradlin, 1920-2011: The world's worst senator in 'Godfather Part II'

G.D. Spradlin, who died Sunday, had a long career as a film and TV actor. He is best remembered for creating the role of Senator Pat Geary, the Nevada politician who ends up in the Mafia's pocket in "The Godfather Part II." This arrogant, hypocritical bigot puts down the Corleones but tries to extort a percentage of their Las Vegas casino earnings out of them. He then proves to be a shockingly easy target for their manipulation.

Spradlin created a horrific, ultimately black-comic portrayal of everyday corruption in American corridors of power. Spradlin made every second on screen count: whether Geary was deliberately mispronouncing the Corleones' name in a show of pseudo-rustic charm, or pronouncing it correctly, malevolently, caressing every vowel; whether he was hysterically confronting a dead and bloodied bedmate or paying unctuous tribute to Italian-Americans at a Senate crime hearing.

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If you're disgusted with the Congress we have now, watch the Senator Pat Geary sections of "The Godfather Part II." You'll find this character appalling and cathartic.

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