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 Richard Deacon

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Richard Deacon

  • Birth 14 May 1921 Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Death 8 Aug 1984 Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
  • Burial Cremated
  • Memorial ID 6230738

Actor. He was the oldest of two sons born to Joseph and Ethel Laughlin Deacon. He grew up in Binghamton, New York. He was stricken with polio at age 11 and took dancing lessons to strengthen his legs. He attended Ithaca College where he studied drama. He worked nights as a radio announcer. He spent four years in the Army Medical Corps. During 1949 to 1951, he was an ‘actor in residence' while attending Bennington College in Vermont. He went to California in the 1950s and worked in stock and formed his own theatre. At the beginning of his career, stage legend Helen Hayes told Deacon that he would never become a leading man but encouraged him to become a character actor. He usually was typecast as a humorless or foul-tempered authority figure. He is mainly remembered for "The Dick Van Dyke Show" from 1961 to 1966. In the first season of "Dick Van Dyke," he continued to appear on his previous series, "Leave it to Beaver," concurrently, playing Fred Rutherford on the latter show. After "The Dick Van Dyke Show" was canceled, Deacon returned to work as a free-lance actor. He co-starred on the TV sit-com "The Mothers-in-Law" (1968) with Kaye Ballard and Eve Arden. He appeared in the long-running Broadway production of "Hello Dolly" as Horace Vandergelder opposite Phyllis Diller in the 1969-70 season. He guest starred on many television series. He became a highly regarded supporting-player in motion pictures. His film credits were numerous even though he received no credit on many of his earlier movies. His film debut was in "Them!" (1954) uncredited. Deacon was a gourmet chef. In the 1980s, he hosted a Canadian TV program on microwave cookery, and even wrote a companion book on the subject. "Growing Pains" in 1984 was his final film. He died of a heart attack at the age of 63.

Bio by: Jane Stacy Eubanks

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Kenneth McNeil
  • Added: 2 Mar 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6230738
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Richard Deacon (14 May 1921–8 Aug 1984), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6230738, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated.