The Screen Actors Guild has confirmed the death of actor Clark Howat on October 30 of last year.

Howat, who was born on January 22, 1918, was one of television’s most reliable small-part actors.  Tall and authoritative in his demeanor, Howat usually played doctors, politicians, military men, suburban dads, and of course cops.  TV fans will probably remember him best as a late member of the “Jack Webb Stock Company.”  Howat made more than a dozen appearances on the sixties revival of Dragnet, always as one of the commanding officers of the various LAPD divisions to which Sgt. Friday was assigned.

Howat was also an occasional writer, with at least one episode of The Detectives to his credit.  According to internet sources, Howat was the story editor on Hot Wheels (1969-1971), a cartoon based on the popular Mattel toys.

The image above comes from “Emergency Only,” a 1959 episode of One Step Beyond in which Howat has an atypically large role.  Howat is on the left, Lin McCarthy on the right.

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In case anyone’s keeping track – yes, posting here has been a bit light of late.  Just before I learned of Clark Howat’s death, I was about to put up the fishin’-hole still from The Andy Griffith Show again.  (That’s the graphic which signifies that I’m on vacation, for those of you who have not been keeping track.)  Rest assured, though, that momentum is not being lost, and that within a few weeks you’ll start to see some of the great content that’s in the works for 2010.

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