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Geoffrey Lewis, Actor in Clint Eastwood Movies, Dies at 79

Actor Geoffrey Lewis, who appeared in several Clint Eastwood movies and made guest appearances on dozens of TV shows in the ’60s through ’80s, died Tuesday in Woodland Hills, Calif., of natural causes, according to a family friend. He was 79.

The reliable character actor, who often appeared in Westerns, was the father of actress Juliette Lewis. His son Miles said he suffered a heart attack during a workout at the Motion Picture Hospital and had been suffering from Parkinson’s and dementia.

He had roles in Eastwood’s “High Plains Drifter,” “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot,” as Orville Boggs in “Every Which Way But Loose” and “Any Which Way You Can” as well as in “Bronco Billy,” “Pink Cadillac” and “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”

Among his other film credits were Jean Claude Van Damme starrer “Double Impact,” on which Lewis was billed right after Van Damme; horror film “The Devil’s Rejects”; Michael Cimino’s “Heaven’s Gate”; John Milius’ “The Wind and the Lion” and “Dillinger”; “Macon County Line”; George Roy Hill’s “The Great Waldo Pepper,” starring Robert Redford; Stanley Donen’s “Lucky Lady,” starring Gene Hackman, Liza Minnelli and Burt Reynolds; “I, the Jury”; Paul Bartel’s “Lust in the Dust”;’ TV movie “Salem’s Lot”; “Fletch Lives”; “Tango and Cash”; Michael Ritchie’s “Smile”; 1990’s “Disturbed”;  “The Lawnmower Man”; John Badham’s “Point of No Return”; 1994’s “The Dragon Gate”; “The Man Without a Face,” starring Mel Gibson; Charlie Sheen vehicle “Five Aces”; Christopher McQuarrie’s “The Way of the Gun”; “Sunstorm”; “A Light in the Darkness”; “Mind Games” and “Fingerprints.”

His Westerns included “The Culpepper Cattle Co.” and Robert Benton’s “Bad Company” (both 1972); spaghetti Westerns “My Name Is Nobody” and “They Died With Their Boots On”; Irvin Kershner’s “The Return of a Man Called Horse,” starring Richard Harris; “Tom Horn,” starring Steve McQueen; and the feature adaptation of “Maverick.”

Juliette Lewis posted a tribute on Instagram, saying: “He loved us so. I am forever my father’s daughter.”

Lewis received a Golden Globe nomination for his recurring role as Earl Tucker on the 1980 series “Flo,” and appeared in numerous other shows including “Mission: Impossible,” “Mod Squad,” “Kung Fu,” “Barnaby Jones,” “The Waltons,” “Starsky and Hutch,” “Hawaii Five-O,” “Lou Grant,” “Little House on the Prairie,” “Alice,” “Laverne & Shirley,” “The Six Million Dollar Man,” “Mork and Mindy,” “Falcon Crest” (in which he recurred as Lucas Crosby), “The A-Team,” “Magnum, P.I.,” “The Golden Girls,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “The X-Files,” “Dawson’s Creek,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and “House M.D.” He starred with Fred Dryer in the brief series “Land’s End” in 1995.

He was also part of Celestial Navigations, a group that put out several albums of Lewis narrating stories to music.

Born in San Diego, he grew up in Rhode Island and moved to California at age 10. He is survived by his wife Paula Hochhalter, Juliette Lewis and children including Miles; Lightfield and Matthew, both actors; and Dierdre, an actress.

 

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