Golden Globe-winning actor Kevin McCarthy, who starred as a frantic doctor trying to save his community in the science-fiction movie classic ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers,’ has died. He was 96.
Kevin McCarthy died Saturday, said Cape Cod Hospital spokesman Dave Riley, who wouldn’t reveal the cause of death or any other details.
‘Body Snatchers’ was one of the most powerful films of the classic 1950s sci-fi era and it hung on Kevin McCarthy’s performance.
In fact, while he would consistently win praise for his acting during a long and busy career, his most lasting fame would come for ‘Body Snatchers,’ a film that was a flop upon its initial release.
Kevin McCarthy’s career began on the stage. His 1938 Broadway debut in Abe Lincoln in Illinois earned him membership in the Actors Studio. McCarthy was chosen to play Willy Loman’s son, Biff, in the London production of Death of a Salesman, a role which McCarthy also played in the 1951 film, earning a best supporting actor Oscar nomination. He was named New Star of the Year by the Golden Globes in 1952.
Kevin McCarthy’s best-known role, however, was that of the frantic doctor who tried in vain to warn his neighbors that pod people from space were taking over the people of Earth. The film was a box-office flop, but it has earned cult status since. It has been remade several times, most notably in 1978 starring Donald Sutherland and again in 2007 as The Invasion starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig.
Kevin McCarthy’s other film roles included Gathering of Eagles, The Best Man, Mirage, Hotel, The Howling, and Twilight Zone: The Movie, He also appeared as Marilyn Monroe’s estranged husband in the 1961 classic The Misfits, Monroe’s last film.
Kevin McCarthy also appeared on such TV shows as ABC medical drama Breaking Point, The Survivors, The Fugitive, and The A-Team. In 1978, he played Harry Truman in the touring one-man show “Give ’em Hell, Harry,” He performed the role in more than 350 venues, according to the AP.
Kevin 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 by relatives.
He is survived by his second wife, Kate Crane, with whom he had two children. He also had three children from his first marriage to Augusta Dabney.
Watch Invasion of the Body Snatchers Youtube Video Trailer: