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Maury Chaykin, RIP

TORONTO — Veteran character actor Maury Chaykin died here Tuesday, July 27, his 61st birthday. The award-winning performer, who had dual citizenship in Canada and the U.S., was noted for his roles in “Dances with Wolves,” “The Sweet Hereafter,” “Blindness,” “A Life Less Ordinary” and many other films. No cause of death was confirmed, but Chaykin had been battling kidney problems. MSTies will recall him as sinister Novacorp executive Gondol in episode 822- OVERDRAWN AT THE MEMORY BANK.

A full obituary is here.

30 Replies to “Maury Chaykin, RIP”

  1. starman15317 says:

    On his own birthday! R.I.P.


  2. Scott says:

    I met him once too.


  3. alpha262 says:

    No actor played Nero Wolfe as well as Maury Chaykin. How very sad.


  4. mikek says:



  5. Uosdwis says:

    Always loved the little scene in WarGames where he slapped around Eddie Deezen at their software company. “Mr. Potato Head!”


  6. JamesLF says:

    This is pretty sad. Loved him on Nero Wolfe. Oddly first heard about this from Timothy Hutton on Twitter. Was hoping they would get back together on Hutton’s show Leverage, but guess that won’t be happening now. RIP Sir.


  7. MPSh says:

    The guy who called Eddie Deezen Mr. Potato Head was also the crazy Army major from Dances with Wolves who wet himself and then shot himself. That’s a fine actor. RIP, Mr. Chaykin….


  8. I’m not really sure which one “Gondol” was in Overdrawn at the Memory Bank, but I’ll go back and try to find him. Just gives me an excuse to watch one of my favorite episodes of all time…


  9. Son of Bobo says:

    Loved him as Nero Wolfe. A great charachter actor who popped up in some pretty good movies. RIP, Mr. Chaykin.


  10. pondoscp says:

    Harvey, you will be missed.


  11. Kali says:

    #8: Gondol was the Fat Man, envisioned in Fingal’s fantasy as the Sidney Greenstreet character. And Fingal dopples him into an anteater at the end of the movie. Hardly seems fair…

    He also appeared in a 80s Twilight Zone remake of “A Game of Pool.”

    Good actor, but he never really fit my image of Nero Wolfe. Sidney Greenstreet played him on the radio and William Conrad played him in a pretty good 70s series, so I never really could watch the new series.

    As Fingal said, “Goodbye, Fat Man,” or as Crow said, “To WENDYS!”


  12. Jon A says:


    Actually, Chaykin played the Fat Chairman’s henchman. (“You are not responsible, Gondol…”) He’s in the background for a couple of scenes in the MST version of the movie. I assume a good chunk of his part was cut for MST.


  13. Kali says:

    That’s right. I just remembered. :oops:

    They never do mention his name in the MSTed version. Everyone calls him “The Fat Man” or “The Chairman.”

    Does this film EVER make sense, even in the uncut version?


  14. Scott says:

    Kali: I can’t say for sure. All I know is that Overdrawn at the Memory Bank was one of the best MST3K episodes ever. In fact, it was the first one that I remember seeing, lo those many years ago.


  15. zombiewhacker says:

    RIP Mr. Chaykin.

    He was also memorable being grilled on the witness by Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinny.

    “Were these magic grits?”


  16. Lucas D. says:

    The chairman’s name was Walenda -yes, really- Irving. The skinny woman calls him on her yummy little wristwatch thing right before he’s introduced.

    But back on point: Rest in peace, Mr. Chaykin. The Fat Man might have found your interference less than appropriate, but the rest of us liked you just fine.


  17. Bat Masterson says:

    Too much butter on his ham. :cry:


  18. ck says:

    I also liked OatMB. Showed some crativity and willing
    to experiment (although, being PBS, they had to cover
    Apollonia James’s naughty bits as Venus :roll: ).
    I haven’t been able to find any pictures of Chaykin as
    one of the Fat man’s henchmen. Can anyone i.d. him in
    mst3000 movie version? Weren’t there 2-3 henchmen
    (henchpersons, henchhumans, henches? :mrgreen: ).


  19. Sampo says:

    As Jon A notes, the character Chaykin played was Gondol, The Fat Man’s henchman, not The Fat Man himself.


  20. Fingal says:



  21. raul says:

    So how many ‘real’ actors were in OatMB?


  22. Canucklehead says:

    I’ll always remember him as the CIA agent who showed up from time to time to harrass Louie Ciccone on the 80s tv-series “Seeing Things”.

    Farewell, sir…


  23. :cry:

    I had only recently discovered “A Nero Wolfe Mystery” (easily one of the best TV series ever, and I don’t throw that one around carelessly). My wife and I are making it through the short-lived series for the first time, and with only two left to go (already a sad prospect), I suspect the remainder will be especially bittersweet. (I definitely encourage anyone who hasn’t seen it to check it out, especially if you’re a fan of sharp witted noir detective stories)

    Also… he was in “Overdrawn…”?! Whoa. Oh, the talent that was wasted in that awful (but hilarious) movie…


  24. Captain Cab says:

    My parents loved him on Nero Wolfe. Remids me I should get into that series myself someday.


  25. Dr. Batch says:

    I don’t think it’s so horrible to die on your birthday. You leave the world on the anniversary of the day you came in.


  26. Chicagoshirl says:

    To #14: Yes, Scott, ITA it’s one of the best episodes ever!

    He was wonderful in My Cousin Vinny, but no one’s yet mentioned Mystery, Alaska. An awesome movie, great cast, and he came through again with another superb performance. The courtroom scene where he reads back the “wal-mart” guy’s profanity-laced diatribe against the town is absolutely priceless!


  27. mikek says:

    I haven’t watched Nero Wolfe in a very long time. I watched far too much TV as a kid and that was the last time I watch Nero Wolfe. I’ve never watched it as an adult.


  28. A truly great talent and the epitome of a character actor who somehow could make his roles as memorable as the main character. I cannot recall any of his performances that were to me, lackluster. From a prison guard in Zorro, to one of the Claim Bros. in Twins he will indeed be missed. A good Cannuck.


  29. Nutcase says:

    The fatman was reffered to as a Mr. Irving if anyone’s wondering. I can’t remember how his first name goes, though. Sounded like Whirlinda.

    And as the people said Gondol was Irving’s henchman so yeah today a toady died. Still a shame though.


  30. John D. says:

    I also loved Maury Chaykin as Nero Wolfe. I always thought it a shame the series was cancelled before they could adapt all of Rex Stout’s stories for television. I don’t think they made it even halfway through the Wolfe canon.

    Maury also had a small role in Woody Allen’s Shadows and Fog, which received a critical drubbing when it was released, but it’s actually a pretty good film, IMO.


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