BY Staff WritersFebruary 28, 2024
2 months ago
 | February 28, 2024
2 months ago

‘Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid’ Star Charles Dierkop Dead At 87

The entertainment world mourns the loss of an iconic character actor, Charles Dierkop, who left an indelible mark on both the big screen and television through his unique roles and distinctive looks.

At the age of 87, Dierkop passed away following complications from a heart attack and pneumonia, signaling the end of a remarkable era in Hollywood history.

Dierkop, a versatile actor celebrated for his gritty roles in classics like "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and "The Sting," died on Sunday. His death was confirmed by his daughter, Lynn, to The Hollywood Reporter on Monday. He took his last breath at Sherman Oaks Hospital in California, closing a chapter on a career that spanned over five decades.

The Early Years of Charles Dierkop

Born in La Crosse, Wisconsin, back in 1936, Dierkop embarked on a journey that would see him rise from humble beginnings to become a familiar face in Hollywood. His early career saw him sharing the screen with Rod Steiger in "The Pawnbroker" (1964) and appearing in "The St. Valentine's Day Massacre" (1967).

However, it was his role in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969) as George “Flat Nose” Curry that would cement his place in cinematic history.

Dierkop had the unique opportunity to work alongside Paul Newman in not just one but three seminal films: "The Hustler" (1961), "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," and "The Sting" (1973). In "The Sting," he portrayed the memorable character of Floyd, the bodyguard, showcasing his ability to leave a lasting impression in supporting roles.

From Silver Screen to Small Screen Achievements

Beyond the big screen, Dierkop’s versatility as an actor was evident through his numerous television appearances. Over the years, he graced various shows, including "Star Trek," "The Andy Griffith Show," and particularly "Police Woman," where he played the role of Detective Pete Royston.

His contribution to television helped to broaden his appeal and demonstrated his adaptability as an actor.

In a rather unique turn, Dierkop also appeared in R.E.M.’s 1992 music video for “Man on the Moon,” showcasing a different aspect of his artistic talents. His television work, especially his role in a 1967 "Star Trek" episode, led to a surprising level of fan recognition and admiration.

Dierkop reflected on this phenomenon in a "Star Trek" interview in 2017, highlighting the unexpected and enduring impact of his roles on audiences.

From Chance Encounters to Personal Triumphs

One captivating story of Dierkop’s career came from a 2018 interview with producer Rob Word. Dierkop recounted a serendipitous moment involving his agent, a plane, and a script for "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," which ultimately led to his casting.

This anecdote, shared by his daughter Lynn, illustrates the quirky turns of fate that often characterize Hollywood careers.

Despite the glitz and glamour of his professional life, Dierkop faced personal trials, including losing his son, Charles Jr., in 1990.

He married Joan Addis for 16 years, from 1958 until their divorce in 1974, with whom he had two children. His family life and professional endeavors paint the picture of a man who lived fully on-screen and off-screen.

Remembering Charles Dierkop: A Legacy of Versatility and Impact

In conclusion, the entertainment industry has lost a remarkable talent in Charles Dierkop. His demise on Sunday, due to complications from a heart attack and pneumonia, marks the end of a storied career filled with memorable performances in both film and television.

Born in La Crosse, Wisconsin, in 1936, Dierkop's journey from "The Pawnbroker" to "Police Woman" and beyond showcased his versatility and dedication to his craft. His unique path to Hollywood, highlighted by a chance encounter on a plane, and his reflections on fan recognition years after a "Star Trek" appearance, reveal a man deeply appreciative of his career's impact.

As the news of his passing is shared by his daughter, Lynn, the industry and fans alike reflect on the legacy of a man who always left a powerful impression in roles big and small.

Written by: Staff Writers



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