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Character actor Pataki dies of cancer

Thesp frequently played the baddie

Character actor Michael Pataki died Thursday in North Hollywood, Calif., of cancer. He was 72.

Pataki was a versatile thesp who frequently played the bad guy in pics like “Grave of the Vampire” and “Airport ’77.”

Born in Youngstown, Ohio, Pataki attended USC where he double majored in drama and political science.

His film debut was an uncredited role in 1958’s “Ten North Frederick,” but it was at a 1966 summer stock festival in Edinburgh that he impressed.

Other films included “The Onion Field,” “The Dirt Gang,” “The Baby” and “The Bat People.”

On TV Pataki recurred on “The Amazing Spider-Man” and guested on series including “The Twilight Zone,” “Combat!,” “Rawhide,” “My Favorite Martian,” “Ben Casey,” “Batman,” “Mission: Impossible,” “The Flying Nun,” “Baretta,” “Happy Days,” “McCloud,” “Barney Miller,” “Little House on the Prairie,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “T.J. Hooker,” “WKRP in Cincinnati,” “Laverne and Shirley,” “The Jeffersons,” “The Fall Guy,” “Airwolf” and “St. Elsewhere.”

He guested on the original “Star Trek,” where he was the first to speak the Klingonese language, and on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

More recently, Pataki was the voice of George Liquor in the animated “The Ren and Stimpy Show” on Spike network.

Pataki directed low-budgeter “Mansion of the Doomed” and soft-core sex farce “Cinderella.” He produced the TV version of tuner “Pippin” in 1981. He also worked as an acting coach.

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