Patrick Cranshaw

FORT WORTH, TEXAS--Veteran character actor Patrick Cranshaw, who gained something of a following as the result of his portrayal of fraternity brother "Blue" in the 2003 comedy "Old School," died at his home here Dec. 28th of natural causes. He was 86. MSTies might remember the small role he played early in his career as a security guard in the movie in episode 623- THE AMAZING TRANSPARENT MAN.

A native of Bartlesville, Okla., he was a born performer: At age five he was tap-dancing for the Fort Worth Women's Club. In his 20s he was delivering newspapers by day, while working for a couple of Dallas acting troupes at night.

He got to L.A. in an unusual way--actress Diana Barrymore was stranded in town, having lost her driver.

"They needed somebody to help them drive back to California," he said in a recent interview, "so I picked up the phone, called the hotel they were staying at, and got the job."

Once on the west coast, he began going to auditions and his distinctive looks got him noticed. His movie career began in earnest in the early 1960s, and included roles in such films as "Bonnie and Clyde," "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure," "The Hudsucker Proxy" and recently in "Best in Show" and "Herbie: Fully Loaded." He appeared on dozens of TV series, from "Green Acres" and "The Bob Newhart Show" to "Monk" and "Dead Last." He had recurring roles on "Mork And Mindy," "The Ted Knight Show," "Dukes Of Hazzard" and "Alice."

He is survived by two daughters and one son.