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John Harkins
John Raymond Harkins

(1932-09-07)September 7, 1932
DiedMarch 5, 1999(1999-03-05) (aged 66)
Years active1955 – 1996
Spouse(s)Lydia Ann Grenier (1964-1999; his death)

John Raymond Harkins (September 7, 1932 – March 5, 1999) was an American stage, film, and television actor.

Life and career

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, where he attended Normandy High School, Harkins began acting professionally in the mid-1950s on the Broadway stage after studying at the University of Iowa. A life member of The Actors Studio,[1] Harkins appeared in productions of The Terrible Swift Sword, Good as Gold, and Mother Courage and Her Children, prior to making his television debut in a 1965 episode of The Trials of O'Brien. The next year, Harkins made his film debut in The Three Sisters, opposite Shelley Winters and Geraldine Page. From 1967 to 1970, he appeared in various roles on Dark Shadows, and appeared in guest roles on Harry O, and had roles in several television movies. In 1975, Harkins had a recurring role on the CBS sitcom Doc. He also appeared in "Chuckles Bites the Dust", a memorable episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, as the reverend.

During the 1980s, Harkins continued with roles in television and films appearing as a cynical lawyer in the 1981 thriller Absence of Malice, starring Paul Newman, an ill-fated real-estate agent in the 1983 horror film Amityville 3-D,1983 in The Return Of The Man From U.N.C.L.E[The Fifteen Years Later Affair] and former Communist and Cold War-era figure Whittaker Chambers in the 1984 PBS mini-series, Concealed Enemies.[2] From 1985 to 1987, he portrayed Bruce Mansfield, a recurring character on Cagney & Lacey (he later reprised the role in the 1994 television reunion movie Cagney & Lacey: The Return). In 1988, Harkins co-starred in the television adaptation of Inherit the Wind starring Jason Robards and Kirk Douglas, followed by a role in Slaves of New York. One of Harkins' last onscreen appearances was in the 1996 HBO film Crime of the Century.

Harkins died on March 5, 1999 in Portola Valley, California.


Year Title Role Notes
1966 The Three Sisters Fedotik
1967 The Tiger Makes Out Leo
1969 Popi Harmon Uncredited
1976 Acapulco Gold Morgan Frye
1979 Being There Courtney Alternative title: Chance
1981 Absence of Malice Davidek
1982 Six Weeks Arnold Stillman
1983 Amityville 3-D Clifford Sanders
1984 Birdy Major Weiss M.D.
1987 Rampage Dr. Keddie
1989 Slaves of New York Chuck Dade Dolger
1992 Adventures in Spying Paperboy Alternative title: Operation Lookout
Year Title Role Notes
1967 Dark Shadows Lieutenant Costa 1 episode
1969 Dark Shadows Garth Blackwood, Mr. Strack various episodes
1970 Dark Shadows Horace Gladstone various episodes
1972 Particular Men Eggard Television movie
1975 The Mary Tyler Moore Show Reverend Burns Episode: "Chuckles Bites the Dust"
1975 Phyllis Mr. Carlson Episode: Pilot
1976 Sara Washburn Episode: "Lady"
1976 Griffin and Phoenix Dr. Glenn Television movie
1977 Family Bertrand Hammond 2 episodes
1978 All in the Family Gordon Faraday 1 episode
1978 A Question of Love Dr. Berwick TV movie
1979 The Cracker Factory Father Dunhill Television movie
1980 Tenspeed and Brown Shoe Beuler 1 episode
Alice Mr. Egan 1 episode
1981 Taxi John Bowman 1 episode
1982 One Shoe Makes It Murder Smiley Copell Television movie
1983 The Winds of War US Consul August Van Winaker II Miniseries
1984 City Killer Wally Rickvine Television movie
1984 Concealed Enemies Whittaker Chambers Two-part miniseries (1984 Primetime Emmy)[3]
1985 Moonlighting Omar Gauss 1 episode
1985–1987 Cagney & Lacey Brunce Mansfield 3 episodes
1986 Dream West Secretary of State George Bancroft Miniseries
1987 Sable Thomas R. Waterston 1 episode
1988 The Golden Girls Ham Lushbough 1 episode
1989 Hunter Dr. Pence 1 episode
1990 Murder, She Wrote Owen Brownwell 1 episode
L.A. Law Martin Lowens 1 episode
Dallas Control 4 episodes
1992 Matlock Richard "Dick" Lerner 2 episodes
1993 The Boys Harlan 6 episodes
1994 Picket Fences Chief Justice Renquist 1 episode
1994 Cagney & Lacey: The Return Mansfield Television movie
1995 Pig Sty Bolek 1 episode
1996 Crime of the Century Edward Reilly Television movie


  1. ^ Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 278. ISBN 0-02-542650-8.
  2. ^ "John Harkins". IMDb. Retrieved 2021-04-17.
  3. ^ "Concealed Enemies American Playhouse". Television Academy Emmys. Retrieved January 29, 2017.