News: Character actor Maury Chaykin dies at 61

One day after I post news about cartoonist John Callahan dying, another death comes from left field.  Esteemed actor Maury Chaykin has died, just hours before his 61st birthday.

Chaykin’s most recent high-profile role is as Sam Blecher in the CityTV/HBO Canada series Less Than Kind.  He will also appear in Showcase’s The Drunk and on Drugs Happy Funtime Hour.  Chaykin had been battling kidney problems for a few years, though the cause of his death has not yet been disseminated.

Three of Chaykin’s best-known roles are as Desmond Howl in the 1994 film Whale Music, as Harvey Weingard in the HBO series Entourage (2004- ), and as Nero Wolfe in the 2001-02 A&E series A Nero Wolfe Mystery.  It was for Whale Music that Chaykin won a Genie Award, for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role.

This is stating the obvious, but I wonder how much Less Than Kind will be impacted by Chaykin’s passing.  Much of LTK‘s personality is due to Sam Blecher.  This doesn’t take away from Jesse Camacho’s character, but Chaykin’s death leaves a big hole that Less Than Kind‘s third season will have to fill.

Everyone of note has already mentioned Chaykin’s list of accomplishments.  It would be stupid to elaborate further.

Instead, I will link to the first ten minutes of Def-Con 4 (1985), in which Chaykin plays Vinny.  This might be disrespectful, but that’s the grim reality of the Canadian film scene.  Even the great actors have to appear in bad films.  I don’t think it can be avoided in this country.  At least Chaykin had the ability to make chicken salad from owl shit.

Cameron Archer

Owner/Writer at Gloryosky
Cameron Archer runs this site, and is a freelance arts writer. He has contributed to Canadian Screenwriter since 2011. He is a CMG Freelance member.
Cameron Archer