Maury Chaykin (Less Than Kind) dies - Macleans.ca
 

Maury Chaykin (Less Than Kind) dies

The Canadian was both an award-winning actor—and a classic ‘Hey, it’s that guy’


 

Very sad news for TV and film viewers: the veteran character actor Maury Chaykin died last night, just one day short of his 61st birthday. Most recently we knew Chaykin as the father on Less Than Kind, which incorporated his health problems into some of the stories in its second season. His biggest part was Nero Wolfe in the A&E adaptation of the Rex Stout mysteries (opposite Timothy Hutton as the Watson-esque Archie Goodwin). He was also, as you can see from his filmography, a classic “hey, it’s that guy” actor, dependably making the most of small roles in film and television. For example, his role as Tod Johnson (“one bark for good, two barks for evil”) in Danny Boyle’s movie A Life Less Ordinary.

One hopes that Less Than Kind will still go on for a third season as planned; it’s certainly the kind of show that can deal openly and interestingly with the death of a character. But he was one of the best things on that show, and he will definitely be missed. Here’s Jim Henshaw’s tribute to him.

And here he is earlier this year being interviewed on CBC’s Q, talking about Less Than Kind and other subjects:

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Update, from comments: “Chaykin deserves a much more effusive obituary than this! Whale Music! Amazing cameo in Dances with Wolves – absolutely amazing, a small but crucial ambiance-setting role, which Costner often praised for its brilliance and importance. and much more.”


 

Maury Chaykin (Less Than Kind) dies

  1. Loved his character on Entourage. Was the scene stealer in each one. RIP.

  2. I really liked him in entourage, playing Harvey Weinstein. Yes I watch entourage.

  3. That is really sad news. I thought Less than Kind was a great show and he will be missed.

    It is ironic that Timothy Hutton worked with him on Nero Wolfe as his father, Jim Hutton, stared in the Ellery Queen mystery series and he too died much too early.

  4. Chaykin deserves a much more effusive obituary than this! Whale Music! Amazing cameo in "Dances with Wolves" – absolutely amazing, a small but crucial ambiance-setting role, which Costner often praised for its brilliance and importance. and much more. C'mon, Weinman, call in the film guy (Johnson, right?) for a full tribute. Chaykin was AMAZING!

    • Agree that he was amazing. He was also wonderful in The Sweet Hereafter.

      For what it's worth, my wife and I still quote from the Life Less Ordinary scene with him fairly frequently, especially now that her mother has started dating someone who lives in a cabin out in the woods.

  5. I adored his Nero Wolfe, loved watching for him in the various series and movies that I had seen over the years. I remember his role as former gambler/bad guy on CSI, his magnificent turn on Dances With Wolves, his turn as Randall on the short-lived series Seeing Things. Maury was definitely the man who defined the statement "there are no small roles, only small actors". He made every appearance a delight. I shall miss his wonderful talent so much.

  6. Whale Music. A terrifying portrayal of a Brian Wilson-esque reclusive rock star. Sadly now, both Maury and Whale Music writer Paul Quarrington have passed in the last year.

  7. We have the Nero Wolfe detective series on DVD – and he was terrific as Wolfe. My OH, who was a fan of the novels for a long time, did not believe anyone could portray Wolfe convincingly but thought he nailed it brilliantly. We were only watching an episode again the other night. A sad loss.