One of the benefits of being a habitual film credits reader is that you get to know the names of unsung actors who play memorable parts in movies.
Guys like Charles Napier.
If you hadn’t already recognized him from the picture at the top of this blog, I would only have to say “You remember, Murdock, the guy who sent Rambo on his mission in ‘Rambo: First Blood Part II,’ or Tucker McElroy, the cowboy-hat-wearing guy in the RV from ‘The Blues Brothers,'” but I could name a couple dozen more as well.
Napier died the other day — the same day as Steve Jobs — and a few movie and TV websites have made note of his passing.
Napier, with his distinctive voice and square jaw, could have played good guys more often but usually played bad guys.
One of his earliest, silliest roles came in the original “Star Trek” TV series, in which the Enterprise crew encounters space hippies. Here’s Napier:
You gotta admire a guy who takes a role that requires him to look like that … and keeps coming back for more.
RIP, Charles Napier.