There were two obits of note in today's LA Times. One was of Bobby Fischer, chess genius turned anti-semitic, anti-American nutcase. The other was of Allen Melvin. I didn't know Melvin's name, but I certainly knew his face and voice -- as did anyone who watched television, particularly sitcoms, during the sixties and seventies. He was Sam the Butcher on "The Brady Bunch," Barney on "All in the Family," Henshaw on "Sgt. Bilko," and tons of other characters on other shows -- not to mention the voice of Magilla Gorilla and numerous other cartoon characters. He was truly worthy of that cry of recognition that greets great character actors: "Hey, it's -- it's -- you know -- him!"
Mark Evanier, naturally, has an anecdote about Melvin. (See link above.) When Evanier and I were both on the comics discussion board on Compuserve, I noticed that whenever an entertainment figure was mentioned, Evanier would have a story about his encounter with that person. "My God," I once messaged him, "you really do know every talented person in Hollywood." "Yes," he messaged back. "Both of them."
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