Patrick Cranshaw

Actor

Patrick Cranshaw, who achieved cultlike status as fraternity brother “Blue” in the 2003 comedy “Old School,” died Wednesday of natural causes at his home in Fort Worth, Texas, home. He was 86.

During a nearly 50-year career, his many smaller roles included a bank teller in “Bonnie and Clyde,” a demolition derby owner in last year’s “Herbie: Fully Loaded” and parts in “Bandolero,” “Best in Show,” and “The Hudsucker Proxy” as well as TV series “Mork & Mindy” and “The Dukes of Hazzard.”

He was probably best known for his role as elderly frat boy Joseph “Blue” Palasky in “Old School,” starring Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn. In the comedy, he was about to wrestle two topless girls but dies of an apparent heart attack from overexcitement. After singing “Dust in the Wind” at Blue’s funeral, Ferrell’s character calls out in agony: “You’re my boy, Blue!” Fans would yell the signature line whenever they saw the actor and erected Web sites paying homage to his “Old School” character. He was even invited to meet with the Texas Rangers when they played the Angels in Anaheim.

Bartlesville, Okla., native became interested in acting while entertaining American troops before World War II.

Cranshaw had recently returned to Fort Worth after shooting the movie “Air Buddies,” due for release this year.

The actor is survived by three children, six grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and a sister.

Donations can be made to the American Heart Assn., the American Lung Assn. or the American Cancer Society.

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