Wednesday, May 5, 2010
RIP John Davis Chandler
Character actor John Davis Chandler passed away on February 16, 2010. John was born in Hinton, West Virginia on January 28, 1935 and moved to Southern California sometime in the 1960s. He made his home in Toluca Lake. He was an avid practitioner of yoga. Short and skinny, with fair hair, piercing blue eyes, he specialized in portraying mean, neurotic and dangerous villains. He made an impressive film debut in his sole starring part as the titular sniveling, psychotic, homicidal weasel gangster in "Mad Dog Coll" (1961). He acted in a trio of Westerns for director Sam Peckinpah and is especially memorable as the creepy Jimmy Hammond in the magnificent "Ride in the High County" (1962). He was excellent as vicious punk Arthur Reardon in "The Young Savages" (1961). He made an effectively loathsome appearance as a vile bushwhacker in the supremely spooky horror-western "The Shadow of Chikara" (1977). He had a nice bit as a bounty hunter in Clint Eastwood’s terrific The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976). He played a foul shark poacher in "Jaws" (1975) and Fair in "Barquero" (1970) with Lee Van Cleef. Over the years, John did many television guest spots on such shows as: "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine", "Walker, Texas Ranger", "Chicago Hope", "ER", "Simon & Simon", "Hunter", "Murder, She Wrote", "Hill Street Blues", "T.J. Hooker", "Fantasy Island", "The Incredible Hulk", "Police Woman", "Gunsmoke", "Adam-12", "The Fugitive", "Combat", "The Rifleman", "The Little Dragons", "Whiskey Mountain", "Colombo", "High Chaparral", "The Treasure Seekers", "Route 66" and "The Men from Shiloh". Chandler appeared in one Euro-western "Triumphs of a Man Called Horse" (1982) He is survived by a brother, Arthur Chandler.
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Here's a link to an interesting article on John. http://sundaygazettemail.com/News/201005150370ReplyDelete
There are two mistakes in the article.First of all,he was not stocky.He was very skinny,only weighing 150 lbs.Secondly,he was born in 1935,making him 75 when he passed away.Great actor.He will be missed.ReplyDelete
Ballyhoo Motion Pictures will be releasing a documentary titled They Came From The Swamp:The Films of William Grefe.John did an interview for this project back in 2008,where one could clearly see how ill he was.To honor John,I ask that all of his fans watch the documentary when it comes out this fall.He died thinking no one gave a damn about him,let's show him he was wrong.ReplyDelete
I had been trying for three years to contact John and let him know about his fanclub in Seattle. I tried SAG and Actors Equity and anReplyDelete
agency listed at his Imdb page. I also tried through the late character actor Woodrow Parfrey's son (also in The Outlaw Joey Wales) all to no avail. I not only wanted to let him know about his fan club, but I also wanted to send him a rudracksha bead from a japa mala (yogi necklace) blessed by the great Indian ecstatic Ananda Mayi Ma, 1896 -1982) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sri_Anandamayi_Ma
I'll be looking for that interview. Jai mahatma John!
Anonymous, John would have appreciated the rudracksha bead. John would have also appreciated knowing about his Seattle fanclub.He always lit up when a fan recognized him.Having that knowledge may have helped him in his last days.ReplyDelete
In the obit, it says "moved to Southernb California at an early age." Sounds like he was 7 or 8. No. He was living in his home town, Charleston, WV when he was 20 and going to Morris Harvey College. I also saw him play Sakini in Teahouse of the August Moon with the Kanawha Players. I remember it well and played the same role ten years later at ASouthern Illinois University. I met up with John in 1995 in Toluca Lake and we talked about our mutual friends in Charleston and with the Kanawha Players. We shared drinks at a Toluca Lake watering hole many times. By the way, the Chandler family was very prominent in Charleston and John's dad was a doctor.ReplyDelete
I have been a fan of Jahn Davis Chandler for years! Especially after seeing "Ride the High Country". I think all the character actors in that movies are badly ignored in the minds and hearts of most movie viewers. Thanks to TCM I have seen several of his pictures. I wish he had known how much he means to us, his fans.ReplyDelete