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Whenever I see Kevin McCarthy in a movie I just want to punch him in the face. Chances are you do too. It's not his fault, really. I hold no personal grudge against the man. I've never even met him. But whenever I see him in a movie I associate him with the stereotypically evil, heartless, greedy, corporate leaders in other movies he's played in, and I want to start slapping his movie personas and just never stop.

You still don't know who I'm talking about? Allow me to cite a few titles.

I was first introduced to McCarthy's heartless bastard character in 1987's Innerspace. He played Victor Scrimshaw, the man who wanted to steal the shrinking/enlarging chips for his own company. After his plans to murder Martin Short's Jack Putter character failed, he miniaturized Mr. Iago, injected him into Jack, and ordered him to kill Tuck Pendleton. Then Iago would be reenlarged, bursting out of the hapless Jack. All in the name of profit.

I next encountered Kevin McCarthy's heartless bastard character in 1989's UHF where he played Channel 8 president R.J. Fletcher. This was McCarthy's most memorable bastard role. His character fired Stanley Spadowski for a mishap that wasn't the poor janitor's fault, attempted to derail Channel U62's rise to the top through fraud, kidnappings, and dealings with bookies, and was, in general, a complete jackass.

The third time's the charm, so when McCarthy appeared in 1992's The Distinguished Gentleman as a energy business executive from a group out to bribe congressmen, filter soft money, and kill an investigation into the formation of cancer clusters in relation to his power lines, he was cemented in my mind as the heartless corporate bastard in every movie I'd seen.

For example, up until a few minutes ago I was positive Kevin McCarthy played Dick Jones of Omni Consumer Products in Robocop. In reading up on his movie roles I was shocked to find that Dick Jones was played by Ronny Cox. I was certain McCarthy had played the character, and Dick Jones has got to be one of Hollywood's most memorable heartless corporate bastards. So connected in my mind is "heartless bastard" with "Kevin McCarthy movie character".

So, in the end, I don't wish any ill-will towards Kevin McCarthy. He's probably a pretty nice guy in real life and I'm sure he's done other movies where he doesn't play a bastard. But if I ever meet one of his movie characters, there's gonna be trouble.

Alright, so apparently he's played the hero in quite a few films. I've never seen any of those however, so KC is still linked to the "heartless bastard" character in my mind.


One of the iron men of science fiction cinema--a villain? The man who saved us all from a covert invasion of vegetable doppelgangers from outer space--a villain? HELL NO!

Let's get a few details outta the way first...

Kevin McCarthy: American actor, born in 1914 in Seattle, Washington. He was the younger brother of writer Mary McCarthy and the cousin of senator Eugene McCarthy. He made his acting debut on Broadway in 1938 in "Abe Lincoln in Illinois". After serving in the Air Force during World War II, he was part of the touring company of "Winged Victory", then made his film debut reprising his role in that play in 1944.

In 1951, McCarthy played Biff Loman in a film version of "Death of a Salesman" and was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. He had the starring role in the 1956 sci-fi classic "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", which lead to a lot more work, including roles in "The Misfits", "The Best Man", "A Big Hand for the Little Lady", "The Three Sisters", "Hotel", "Kansas City Bomber", the 1978 remake of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", "The Howling", "Twilight Zone: The Movie", "The Colbys", "Innerspace", "UHF", "The Distinguished Gentleman", "Matinee", "Greedy", and a host of others.

Yeah, he's done most of his work in either B-movies or in small parts or as villains. But I sure don't wanna hit the guy because of it. I forgive a lot for guys who save us from the pod people...

Research from the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com) and Hollywood.com.

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