Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fritz Weaver

Fritz Weaver sounds like a name from Spike Jones.  Sorry, that was Doodles Weaver (1911 - 1983).  Fritz Weaver (b. 1926) was a fine actor, and it may be questionable to include him as a Bit Actor. 

Weaver started acting in television in the late 1950s.  His first film was Fail Safe (1964) where he played a colonel.  There were a lot of colonels in that one.  Weaver's deep voice and great facial expressions of terror, disgust or horror help him to stand out.

He was very active on TV through most of his career.  You can find him on most of the dramatic and western series, including "Rawhide," "The Fugitive," and "Combat."

His next film was The Maltese Bippy (1969) starring Dan Rowan (1922 - 1987) and Dick Martin (1922 - 2008).  While "Laugh-In" was a big hit, I am not sure the movie was as good, and it didn't have Goldie Hawn

To put him back in his element, Fritz appeared multiple times on "The F.B.I." and "Mission Impossible" over the years of those well received shows.  It suited Weaver.  As did most dramatic or suspense roles. 

Weaver has a major part in The Day of the Dolphin (1973) starring George C. Scott (1927 - 1999).  Then, a few years later, he is in a trio of decent movies...Marathon Man (1976), Black Sunday (1977) and Demon Seed (1977). 

A year after appearing in 1977 on "The New Adventures of Wonder Woman" he has, perhaps, his best television role.  He plays Dr. Josef Weiss on the TV mini series "Holocaust."

Weaver appears in one segment of Creepshow (1982) which is a very interesting, and campy, horror flick by Stephen King (b. 1947).  The cast includes Hal Holbrook, Adirenne Barbeau, Leslie Nielsen and E. G. Marshall.  I loved it!

His final film was the 1999 remake of The Thomas Crown Affair starring Pierce Brosnan and the wonderful Rene Russo.  I thought that version held up well in comparison to the 1968 Steve McQueen version.  That sort of comment always causes a reaction from the public.  I do love McQueen, the King of Cool.

Fritz continued to work on the TV series, "Law & Order" up until 2005.  He is now 85 years young, so I hope he has the health to continue appearing in roles, even if they are small ones.  His voice can be heard on many History Channel documentaries, so Fritz Weaver will be around for quite a while.