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John Karlen, 'Cagney & Lacey' Emmy Winner, Dead at 86

John Karlen, 'Cagney & Lacey' Emmy Winner, Dead at 86
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John Karlen, a longtime theater and television actor who made his biggest impact on "Cagney & Lacey," died Wednesday of congestive heart failure at a hospice in Burbank, THR reports. He was 86.

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Born May 28, 1933, in Brooklyn, Karlen fought in the Korean War and studied acting, appearing in dramatic plays on television as early as 1949. He made his Broadway debut in 1960, replacing Rip Torn in the original, Elia Kazan-directed Broadway production of the Tennessee Williams hit "Sweet Bird of Youth," and appeared on the Great White Way several more times, including in the similarly successful "Invitation to a March" (1960) with Jane Fonda and the disastrous staging of Williams' show "The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore" (1964) alongside Tallulah Bankhead, Tab Hunter and Marian Seldes.

Karlen's big break came playing multiple roles on the cult horror series "Dark Shadows" (1967-1971) and in the features "House of Dark Shadows" (1970) and "Night of Dark Shadows" (1971).

Flirting with typecasting, he appeared in the sexploitation drama "Daughters of Darkness" (1971), the made-for-TV movies "Night Terror" (1972) and "Trilogy of Terror" (1975), and in episodes of the otherworldly "The Sixth Sense" (1972) and "Night Gallery" (1972) before moving on to non-genre appearances on many of the top TV hits of the next two decades, including "Mannix" (1975), "Medical Center" (1973 & 1975), "Hawaii Five-O" (1976), "The Waltons" (1976), "All in the Family" (1977), "Charlie's Angels" (1977), "Hill Street Blues" (1982), "Mad About You" (three appearances, 1994-1995), and "Murder, She Wrote" (four appearances, 1989-1995).

Beginning in 1982, Karlen played Harvey Lacey, the gruff husband of Tyne Daly's Mary Beth Lacey on "Cagney & Lacey," for which he was Emmy-nominated three times, winning in 1986. He appeared on the show from 1982-1988, returning for three reunion TV movies in 1994, 1995, and 1996.

The last "Cagney & Lacey" movie was his final performance in any medium, save for an appearance in the 2016 short film "The Job Interview," a "Dark Shadows" tribute project.

Karlen is survived by his ex-wife, Betty, and his son, Adam.

He was remembered on Twitter by his "Cagney & Lacey" co-star Sharon Gless, who wrote that "my friend and colleague" had gone "to the greatest racetrack in the sky yesterday. We will miss him."

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