RIP: Clarence Williams III & Ned Beatty

These gentlemen were staples on both screens in the Seventies.

Clarence got his start in the Sixties with the groundbreaking cop show The Mod Squad on ABC. Three undercover officers who were young enough looking to infiltrate evil gangs of Hippies was my guess. I often saw in him bit parts. The two which come to mind are the undertaker in Tales from the Hood and the aging Black Panther who lost his followers in I’m Gonna’ Get You Sucka’.

Ned was a constant presence too. He did it all. Burt Reynolds flicks, sadly it was Deliverance most remember; the good news, they did the infamous scene in one take. The scary truth teller in Network, the easily cajoled Dean Martin in Back to School and his last big presence as the bitter teddy bear in Toy Story 3. My favorite part was his bumbling Otis, personal henchman to Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor in the only good Superman flicks by Richard Donner; I prefer Donner’s cut of Superman II. Ned’s defense of Otisburg is burned into my memory, better than any foreign language.

Thanks guys for everything! Your performances were fantastic and convincing. You made the stories you were in the best.

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