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Richard X. Slattery

Character actor Richard X. Slattery, who played “Murph” for 17 years in the Unocal TV commercials, died Jan. 27 at the Motion Picture & Television Hospital in Woodland Hills following a stroke. He was 72.

Born in New York City, Slattery worked as an NYPD street cop for 12 years while appearing Off Broadway in numerous plays such as “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “The Iceman Cometh” and “Born Yesterday.”

In 1961 he made the move to Broadway, appearing in “A Cook for Mr. General” and later “The Dark at the Top of the Stairs.”

His main career, however, was in TV, where he appeared in more than 100 shows including “Bonanza,” “Bewitched,” “The Andy Griffith Show,” “CPO Sharkey,” “The Gallant Men,” “Switch” and “Mr. Roberts.”

He was also cast as Admiral Bull Halsey in the mini “The Winds of War.”

Film credits included “Butterfield 8,” “The Boston Strangler,” “Walking Tall” and “The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again.”

Slattery is survived by his wife, eight children and six grandchildren.

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