Don Chastain

Actor, singer

Don Chastain, actor and singer, died Aug. 9 of cancer in Los Angeles. He was 66.

Oklahoma City native was loyal to his roots, yet his desire to fulfill an acting career brought him to Hollywood in the late 1950s, where he found success in early television shows such as “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour” and “Colt .45.”

He later appeared in “Alice,” “Rockford Files,” “Rhoda,” “Maude,” “Emergency!,” “Cannon,” “Hawaii Five-O,” “The Big Valley” and “S.W.A.T.” He starred opposite Debbie Reynolds in her NBC series and was nominated for an Emmy for an episode of “Gunsmoke.” He most recently appeared on “The West Wing,” “Scrubs” and “Murder in Small Town X.”

He also carved a niche in musical reviews by Don Arden and others before moving to Broadway in 1961 where he accepted a principal role in “No Strings” with Diane Carroll and Richard Kiley. He worked alongside Katherine Hepburn, Lauren Bacall, Barbara Eden and Lee Remick as well. His other Broadway roles included “Parade,” “42nd Street,” “Dance a Little Closer,” “Floyd Collins” and “Superman.”

Additionally, he was recognized as a charismatic jazz singer, performing with Jon Hendricks and with Count Basie’s Band.

He is survived by wife Jill and a son.

Remembrances be made to the Jennifer M. Bealmear College Fund, c/o Knapp, Petersen and Clarke, 500 N. Brand Blvd., 20th Floor, Glendale CA 91203; the American Indian Education Foundation, P.O. Box 27491, Albuquerque NM 87125; or the Actors’ Fund of America.

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