Michael Pataki

Excellent, prolific and versatile character actor Michael Pataki had a long, varied and impressive career in both movies and TV shows alike that spanned a little over 50 years. Pataki was born on January 16, 1938 in Youngstown, Ohio. He attended the University of Southern California as a double major in Drama and Political Science. Michael made his film debut with an uncredited small part in the 1958 feature "10 North Fredrick." However, it was his acclaimed acting on stage in 1966 at a summer stock festival in Edinburgh that really launched Pataki's career. Although usually cast as mean and unlikable antagonistic characters, Michael on occasion portrayed more appealing folks with equal skill and conviction. Pataki gave a superbly chilling and compelling performance as vicious bloodsucker Caleb Croft in the creepy horror winner "Grave of the Vampire." Other memorable roles include nasty biker Snake in "The Dirt Gang," Mariana Hill's weak masochistic boyfriend Dennis in the perverse "The Baby," the lecherous Sergeant Ward in the crummy "The Bat People," hi-jacker Wilson in "Airport '77," Dracula's modern-day descendant Michael Drake in the hilariously horrible "Dracula's Dog," sleazy bounty hunter Harry Iverson in "The Glove," hard-nosed District Attorney Dino Fulgoni in the splendidly gritty "The Onion Field," oddball cemetery caretaker Sam in the offbeat zombie doozy "Dead & Buried," ramrod Russian sports official Nicoli Koloff in "Rocky IV," and the stern Dr. Hoffman in "Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers." Pataki had a recurring role on the TV series "The Amazing Spider-Man;" he also appeared in the two spin-off theatrical pictures "Spider-Man" and "Spider-Man Strikes Back." Among the numerous TV shows Michael made guest appearances on are "The Twilight Zone," "Star Trek," "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 & Shirley," "The Jeffersons," "The Fall Guy," "Airwolf," "St. Elsewhere," and "Star Trek: The Next Generation." Moreover, Pataki provided voices for cartoon television programs; he was especially notable as the voice of the demented George Liquor on "The Ren & Stimpy Show." Michael directed two low-budget 70s drive-in exploitation features for producer Charles Band: the potently unnerving horror shocker "Mansion of the Doomed" and the amusingly silly soft-core comedy musical "Cinderella." In addition, Pataki also worked as an acting coach. Michael died of cancer at age 72 on April 15, 2010 in North Hollywood, California.

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