Jack Kruschen, bushy-mustached Oscar-nommed character actor whose career spanned six decades, died April 2 while traveling. He was 80 and had suffered illness for many years.
Kruschen appeared in more than 75 movies during his long career, including “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” the original “Cape Fear,” and most recently “‘Till There Was You.”
He began as a teenager acting in radio dramas in 1938 and remained a popular fixture in the medium before he focused his energies on the stage and screen. After successful theater work, Kruschen continued in TV and film. He was often cast as villains and achieved cult respect as one of the first victims of the Martian death ray in George Pal’s “War of the Worlds.”
In 1960, Kruschen was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance as Jack Lemmon’s annoyed neighboor, Dr. Dreyfus, in “The Apartment.” He was more recently known as “Papa” Papadapolis in the TV show “Webster.”
He is survived by wife Mary, children and grandchildren, a sister and a niece.