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David Arkin

Personal information
Birth nameDavid George Arkin
Birth dateDecember 24, 1941
Place of birthLos Angeles, California, USA
Date of deathJanuary 14, 1991(age 49) (suicide)
Death placeLos Angeles, California, USA
OccupationFilm, television actor

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David G. Arkin (December 24, 1941 January 14, 1991) was an American actor best known for his numerous supporting appearances in the films of Robert Altman. These roles were part of Altman’s frequent ensemble and included Staff Sergeant Vollmer in MASH (where he also wrote and voiced the PA Announcements), Harry in The Long Goodbye, Norman in Nashville, The Mailman/The Police Officer in Popeye. Arkin was known among his friends and colleagues for having introduced his friend Arnold Schwarzenegger (then Arnold Strong) to Robert Altman, at the time The Long Goodbye was being cast. This began Schwarzenegger’s career in film (a story re-told recently by Mitchell Zuckoff in his 2009 book Robert Altman: An Oral Biography).Before MASH he had brief appearances in Valley of the Dolls, All the President's Men, Cannonball, and then had an “introducing” credit co-starring with Peter Sellers in I Love You, Alice B. Toklas (1968). His television credits include Hawaii Five-O, Whitney and the Robot, and a season-long appearance as the character Gabriel Kaye in the CBS television series Storefront Lawyers, co-starring Robert Foxworth and Sheila Larken. He also appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and on the Joey Bishop and the Steve Allen late night shows with the Hollywood Sunset Strip improvisational comedy troupe The Session (which included Richard Dreyfuss, Rob Reiner, Larry Bishop, Bobbie Shaw-Chance, Marj Dusay, and Phil Mishkin); he later performed with The Second City touring troupe. He was married three times, the last time to actress Anne E. Curry at the time of his death in 1991. Arkin wrote Human Cargo: Great Escapes, which Curry later produced with their company Old Dime Box Productions for the Showtime television network; it starred Treat Williams and was filmed in Israel. She also produced and directed One Man’s Opinion, a politically incorrect take on newly released films; it starred David Arkin and Professor Tyrone Shaw, now on the faculty of Journalism at Johnson State College in Vermont. David G. Arkin was not related either to Alan Arkin, the actor, to Adam Arkin (his son; also an actor), or to Alan Arkin’s father (David I. Arkin, deceased 1980), who moved to Los Angeles in 1945, with his family and who worked behind the camera in the entertainment industry. Ironically, David I. Arkin lived in old Hollywood’s Silverlake neighborhood, where David G. Arkin’s brother, Robert M. Arkin (now a social psychologist on the faculty at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio) was also living at the same time; though the two families were not acquainted, when it was once noted that Rob Reiner and Larry Bishop (The Session troupe) had fathers in the entertainment business, Alan Arkin was quoted as commenting on David G. Arkin that “he is at least my nephew in talent”.

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