Veteran Actor, TV Tough Guy, Dead at 82

Nov 11, 2013  •  Post A Comment

An actor who was a familiar face on television, appearing in a string of popular shows over the years including a regular run on "Cagney & Lacey," has died. Paul Mantee, described as a "burly, tough-guy actor," died Nov. 7, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 82.

Mantee played Det. Al Corassa on the long-running CBS cop show "Cagney & Lacey" from 1983-1988. He was also known for his starring role as Cmdr. Christopher "Kit" Draper in the 1964 theatrical release "Robinson Crusoe on Mars."

"A longtime resident of Malibu who wrote columns for the local newspaper, Mantee played the health inspector on a 1994 episode of ‘Seinfeld,’ ‘The Pie’; had a recurring role as Commander Clayton on ‘Hunter,’ the police drama that starred Fred Dryer; and appeared as Cornell, a henchman for Catwoman who disguises himself as Batman to frame the Caped Crusader for a robbery in a 1967 storyline that saw the villainess go back to college," THR reports.

His many guest appearances on TV included performances on "Dallas," "L.A. Law," "Murder, She Wrote," "Remington Steele" and "The Fall Guy."

Early in his career he appeared on seminal TV series such as "Dragnet," "The Untouchables," "Dick Powell Theatre," "Cheyenne" and "The Rifleman."

Mantee also made his mark on the big screen. "Mantee starred as secret agent Dick Dagger in ‘A Man Called Dagger’ (1968)," THR reports. "He also had small roles in such films as ‘They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?’ (1969); ‘The Greatest’ (1977), starring Muhammad Ali; ‘The Great Santini’ (1979); ‘Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story’ (1993); and ‘Apollo 13’ (1995)."

paul mantee.pngPaul Mantee

One Comment

  1. I grew up in the 60’s and when I saw Robinson Crusoe on Mars at the Loews Fairmont on Tremont Avenue in the Bronx, it had the same affect on me as Star Wars did many years later. It blew me away. Paul Mantee immediately became one of my movie heroes and remains so today. I’m so sorry to hear about his passing.

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