Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Big Man Is Gone

Those of us who enjoyed the rather eccentric but thoroughly memorable performances in A&E-TV’s too-short-lived A Nero Wolfe Mystery (2001-2002) are breathing heavy, melancholic sighs today at this news:
Actor Maury Chaykin died Tuesday, his 61st birthday, in Toronto. The veteran character, who had dual citizenship in Canada and the U.S., appeared in “Dances with Wolves,” “The Sweet Hereafter,” “Blindness,” “A Life Less Ordinary” and many other films.

He also played detective Nero Wolfe in the A&E Television series “A Nero Wolfe Mystery,” produced, directed and co-starring Timothy Hutton. The series was based on the detective novels by Rex Stout.
The full piece in the Los Angeles Times, which includes a video clip of Chaykin playing Wolfe, can be found here.

READ MORE:Remembering Maury Chaykin,” by Christopher Garcia (Examiner.com); “Maury Chaykin: The Guardian Obituary,” by Michael Carlson (Irresistible Targets).


David Cranmer said...

I own both seasons of the Nero Wolfe series and though it wasn't perfect, I always thought his acting was. RIP.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jeff: "A Nero Wolfe Mystery (2011-2002)" should be "A Nero Wolfe Mystery (2001-2002). Jiro

J. Kingston Pierce said...

Oops. Thanks for catching that typo, Jiro. It's corrected now.


Mike Doran said...

I am I the only one who's noticing that Nero Wolfe is going largely unnoticed in the printed obits?

Granted, Maury Chaykin was a superb actor with a wide range.
Granted also, the Wolfe series has never really recieved its due, because A&E botched their handling of it.
Still, it did run two seasons, and Chaykin is generally considered the definitive screen Nero Wolfe, which makes the idea that the series might be almost totally forgotten in such a short time ... I don't even want to think about that.

RIP, Maury Chaykin.
You will be missed, far more than you know.

Les Blatt said...

I had the chance to see the episode based on "Death of a Doxy" a couple of weeks ago. I was amazed at how close it was to the original. Most of the dialogue, and Archie's narration, were taken word-for-word from the book. A couple of minor characters and some non-essential scenes were cut - hey, you have to cut SOMEWHERE - but it was amazingly well done. Chaykin was an excellent Wolfe.