Gailard Sartain

Sartain served as a regular on other series as well (i.e., "Cher" CBS 1975-76; "Shields and Yarnell" CBS 1978), but none of them lasted very long. He was also ancillary on a number of comedy specials, in support of comics including Robert Klein and Steve Landesberg. TV-movies like "Cooperstown" (TNT, 1993) came later, but Sartain had by then parlayed his vigorous, playful presence into a sizable career in features. He debuted in "The Buddy Holly Story" (1978) as the Big Bopper, one of the rock musicians killed in the plane crash along with Holly, and even sang a rendition of "Chantilly Lace." "Roadie" (1980) marked a first collaboration with quirky auteur Alan Rudolph, and Sartain has since become a fixture in practically every Rudolph feature, playing a mayor in "Endangered Species" (1982), Fat Adolph in "Trouble in Mind" (1985), a New York critic in "The Moderns" (1988), and a cab driver in "Love at Large" (1990), among others. Sartain also contributed vivid supporting turns in "Mississippi Burning" (1988), "Fried Green Tomatoes" (1991), and in several "Ernest" farces starring Jim Varney. He tried to talk C Thomas Howell out of smoking cigarettes in Francis Ford Coppola's "The Outsiders" (1983), was Chairman Wood of the House Committee on un-American Activities in "Guilty By Suspicion" (1991), and, more recently, the sheriff in "The Spitfire Grill" (1996).