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Richard Deacon

Richard Deacon

Born in Philadelphia, Richard Deacon was one of the most prominent character actors on television. After a long string of bit parts in movies and TV shows in the early '50s, many of which were uncredited, Deacon finally began to get substantial recurring roles, most notably on the short-lived Betty White sitcom "Date with the Angels" and the hit family comedy "Leave It to Beaver." The bald actor played the uptight Fred Rutherford on a number of episodes of "Leave It to Beaver," and, during this time, he also joined the cast of "The Dick Van Dyke Show," where he became famous as cranky boss Mel Cooley. Deacon also appeared on "The Phyllis Diller Show" and the sitcom "The Mothers-In-Law," and had an occasional role on "The Beverly Hillbillies" in '70, shortly before the series was cancelled. Deacon was a bit less prolific during the '70s, but still was featured in the B-movie classic "Piranha" and on episodes of "B.J. and the Bear." With more than 160 screen credits to his name, Deacon was never inactive for long, and, when he died of a heart attack in '84, he was still regularly appearing on television.
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