Roy Dana (R.D.) Call, an actor who appeared in such films as “Last Man Standing,” “Born on the Fourth of July” and several other films alongside Sean Penn, died on Feb. 27 of back surgery complications, his family announced. He was 70.
The Utah native was born Feb. 16, 1950 and came to Los Angeles in 1975 to pursue his career in acting, attending Lee Strasberg Acting School and Lonny Chapman’s L.A. Repertory Theater Group. His first major television performance was in the drama “Barnaby Jones,” episodes of which were directed by Leo Penn, Sean Penn’s father. He went on to appear on “The X-Files,” “Little House on the Prairie,” “V” and “Trapper John M.D,” and had a recurring role in Stephen King’s “Golden Years.”
The actor was known to have a love for live performance and often said “acting just wasn’t real unless you were willing and able to perform live theater,” according to the family’s statement. Some of Call’s stage performances included “Blackout,” “Speed of Darkness,” “Drift,” and “Good Bobby.”
Call, who struggled with alcoholism, celebrated his 26th year of sobriety this year. The actor wrestled with major back pain the past few years and had surgery in 2019 and again this year on Feb. 24 to address the problem.
“R.D was as tough as nails on the outside, but a real gentleman on the inside,” said his family. “He could be very intimidating at first sight or even a little scary to some. But once you got to know him, his directness turned into a kid fondness for getting to know people. He was who he was, honest, direct, genuine, and funny, he had a great sense of humor and there was no pretense or phoniness.”
Call is survived by his brother, Rick; sisters Quay Burbank, and Cindy Thomas; his uncle, Lane and his aunt Evelyn.
(pictured: “The X-Files” star David Duchovny, left, and R.D. Call)