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Darren McGavin of "A Christmas Story' dies

(FINAL EDITED VERSION NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY. PLEASE SEE MICROFILM.)

Darren McGavin, 83, died Saturday of natural causes at a Los Angeles-area hospital with his family at his side, his son Bogart McGavin said.

The husky, tough-talking performer starred in five TV series, including Mike Hammer, and endearing holiday audiences with his role as the grouchy dad in the 1983 comedy classic A Christmas Story.

McGavin also had leading roles in TV's Riverboat and cult favorite Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Among his memorable portrayals was Gen. George Patton in the 1979 TV biography Ike.

Despite his busy career in television, McGavin was awarded only one Emmy: in 1990 for an appearance as Candice Bergen's opinionated father in an episode of Murphy Brown.

He lacked the prominence in films he enjoyed in television, but he registered strongly in featured roles such as the young artist in Venice in Summertime, David Lean's 1955 film with Katharine Hepburn and Rosanno Brazzi; Frank Sinatra's crafty drug supplier in The Man with the Golden Arm (1955); Jerry Lewis's parole officer in The Delicate Delinquent (1957); and the gambler in 1984's The Natural. He also starred alongside Don Knotts, who died Friday night, in the 1976 family comedy No Deposit, No Return.

He is survived by his four children - York, Megan, Bridget and Bogart - from a previous marriage to Melanie York McGavin, Bogart McGavin said. McGavin was separated from his second wife, Kathy Brown, he said.

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