Jack Blessing, Baltimore-born actor, dies

Jack Blessing was a Baltimore-born actor who developed a career that included appearances in films and television shows such as “Moonlighting,” “M*A*S*H” and “The X Files.”

Mr. Blessing, a 1969 graduate of Calvert Hall College High School, died of pancreatic cancer Nov. 14 at his Chatsworth, Calif., home at age 66.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Parkville, he was the son of George Blessing and Marjorie McLean.

After graduation from Calvert Hall, he obtained a degree at Frostburg State University. He served in the Army from 1972 to 1975, assigned to the the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif., and to Augsburg, Germany.

He later took courses at Harvard University while living in Boston and working in an improvisational company, The Proposition.

Friends said a Paramount studios casting director spotted him and put him in a television film, “The Defection of Simas Kudirka.” He appeared in several other films before he was cast in a 1983 television comedy series, “Small & Frye,” where he created the role of Chip Frye opposite actor Darren McGavin’s Nick Small.

Mr. Blessing also played the role of MacGillicuddy in the final two seasons of the series “Moonlighting” with Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd, and had the role of Jack Powers in the comedy “George Lopez.”

Other appearances included a 1989 role in the show “M*A*S*H,” and appearances in “China Beach, ”“Thirtysomething,” “Roseanne.” “Northern Exposure,” “NYPD Blue,” “The X-Files” and "CSI."

Mr. Blessing also did extensive voice work in more than 3,000 movies and television shows, including “The West Wing.”

He attended annual family reunions at Ocean City.

Survivors include his wife of more than 30 years, Lora Staley, an actress and special education teacher; two sons, Ian Blessing of Napa, Calif. and Chris Blessing of Washington; a brother, David Blessing; and two sisters, Mary Burns and Sister Lois Blessing, all of the Baltimore area.

--Jacques Kelly

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

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