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Dennis Weaver is gone

Boy, it’s not a good week to be a celebrity. Weaver was best known for his TV roles in Gunsmoke and McCloud, two series I didn’t watch back in the day.

The two films that I recall when thinking of Dennis Weaver:

Duel (1971): Steven Spielberg’s first film, a TV movie about a businessman being chased on the dusty highways and hills by a maniac in an 18-wheeler. It still holds up today as a thriller.

A Touch of Evil (1958): A masterpiece by Orson Welles. Weaver plays the weird night clerk of a motel where Janet Leigh is terrorized and assaulted by a gang (Mercedes McCambridge as a biker dyke/gang member!). The role of the freaky motel clerk was expanded during shooting as Weaver and Welles came up with new ideas for the character. The opening sequence in the film is amazing, as are all of the performances, save Charlton Heston’s completely unconvincing portrayal of a Mexican narcotics investigator.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding