Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Val Avery, R. I. P.

Val Avery, Who Portrayed Tough Guys on Film and TV, Dies at 85 - Obituary (Obit) - NYTimes.com: "Val Avery, whose craggy features and threatening aura ensured him nearly 50 years of work playing tough guys on both sides of the law in dozens of television series and films like “Hud,” “Hombre” and several directed by John Cassavetes, died Saturday at his home in Greenwich Village. He was 85.
[. . . .]
Mr. Avery played the Mafia psychopath Socks Parelli in the Sidney Lumet caper film “The Anderson Tapes” (1971) and the Mafia godfather who cuts off Eric Roberts’s thumb in “The Pope of Greenwich Village” (1984). He also made frequent guest appearances on “The Fugitive,” “Gunsmoke,” “Columbo” and other television series."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.


  1. It's his work in the 'Columbo' episodes, probably five in all, for which I'll remember him best. "Identity Crisis" and "A Friend In Deed" especially so. Also, there was an 'Odd Couple' episode where he invented a denture paste from barnacles.....

    With so much emphasis put on finding the pretty boys for TV shows and movies, it makes me wonder where the future character actors are going to come from. Val Avery was a great one....

  2. Anonymous11:53 PM

    I saw his name in NYC White Pages in 1988 he sent me an autograph known as a "tough guy" actor but really a very nice man he signed "Socks" after his name