Character actor Donald Moffat, who made memorable appearances in John Carpenter’s “The Thing,” the Tom Clancy adaptation “Clear and Present Danger” and many other movies and TV shows, has died. The New York Times reports that Moffat died Thursday in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., of complications from a recent stroke. He was 87.
Born in Plymouth, Devon, in the U.K., Moffat relocated to the United States early in his career and quickly lost his British accent, going on to play quintessentially American characters. He began turning up on television as early as the mid-1950s, appearing on many of the drama anthologies that were prevalent at the time. His early TV work included appearances on “Naked City,” “The DuPont Show of the Month,” “Armstrong Circle Theatre” and “The United States Steel Hour.”
Later in his career he had a regular TV role on the 1970s series adaptation of “Logan’s Run” and was seen in miniseries including “The Word” (1978), “The Chisholms” (1980) and “Tales of the City” (1993). He had a guest arc as Brooks Oliver on “Dallas” in the early 1980s, and made guest appearances on many TV series, including “L.A. Law,” “China Beach,” “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” and “The West Wing.”
On the big screen, Moffat played Lyndon B. Johnson in “The Right Stuff,” and appeared in “Popeye,” “Far North,” “Regarding Henry” and many other movies.
Here’s a scene from “Clear and Present Danger” in which Moffat, playing the president of the United States, has a tense encounter with Harrison Ford’s Jack Ryan …