Chaykin’s Exit

I’m very sorry about Maury Chaykin‘s passing, which happened yesterday in Toronto. A seemingly kind and delicate fellow, Chaykin, 61, was best at conveying bottled-up rage. My two favorites in this vein are the software-programming beardo in War Games (with his rage directed at the Jerry Lewis-like Eddie Deezen) and his four appearances as Harvey Weingard (based on you-know-who) in Entourage.

He’s also quite good in George Hickenlooper‘s Casino Jack , which will play at the Toronto Film Festival. I know I’m supposed to rave about Chaykin’s Sam Blecher character in HBO’s Less Than Kind series, but I’ve never seen so much as an episode of that show.

Chaykin was a longtime Toronto resident, having moved there in the mid ’70s, and was a member in good standing of the Canadian club of filmmakers, actors, etc. Atom Egoyan cast Chaykin in The Sweet Hereafter, Exotica, Adoration, Where the Truth Lies , etc.

  • rayciscon

    Don’t forget his work in the Nero Wolfe television show.

    I always enjoyed the dynamic between Chaykin’s Wolfe and Tim Hutton’s Archie Goodwin and the ensemble of actors who would play different characters in different episodes.

    No matter what the role, he was an actor who’s presence was always felt in the scene.

  • McClaneSveUs

    I’m ashamed to admit this;

    But I’ve seen Iron Eagle 2 (a shameless Top Gun riff), and Chaykin is easily the best thing about the movie. Very funny.

  • Ulysses

    He is also quite brilliant playing a Brian Wilson-esque singer/composer in the splendid “Whale Music,” which also features a terrific soundtrack and the delectable Cyndy Preston.

  • ElstonGunnAICN

    He first made an impression with me, very strangely enough, in Hearts of Fire, the Joe Eszterhas-scripted, starring Ruper Everett & Bob Dylan.

    I see he passed away on his birthday.

  • Hip Hop Homey

    Let’s face it: He also had the most memorable, bizarro role in DANCES WITH WOLVES. RIP, sir.

  • Josh Tate

    Loved him in one of my favorite overlooked gems, Love and Death on Long Island

  • MikeSchaeferSF

    “Less Than Kind” is on HBO Canada — never been shown in the US as far as I know.

  • reverent and free

    Josh, and Owning Mahowny. Richard Kwietniowski is a gem of a director, and fortunately he’s about to film his next picture No One Gets Off in This Town again starring john Hurt.

    I’ll mention Chaykin’s performance in John Woo’s short film Hostage, made for the BMW series.

  • Wrecktem

    You gotta respect the working character actors int the world. Able to move from a lead role in Unstrung Heroes to a supporting turn in Cutthroat Island without breaking a sweat. Yay to Maury Chaykin and all the other working actors in Hollywood.

  • George Prager

    He was a really good mean sadistic prison guard in MRS. SOFFEL.

  • I was never a fan of THE ADJUSTER – perhaps I need to revisit it – but Chaykin was the best part about it.

  • Manitoba

    Chaykin’s body of work covers both the United States and Canada thanks to the fact his father was American and his mother a Canadian. His HBO Canada sitcom “Less Than Kind” was shot here in Manitoba. Chaykin played a diabetic father who struggled to run a driving school in Winnipeg. In addition to feature films, his tv work covered everything from C.S.I .to Boston Legal to playing notorious labor leader Hal Banks on CBC television.I look forward to seeing his work in “Casino Jack.” Today’s Winnipeg Free Press notes though Chaykin was the patriarchical centre of the series” Less Than Kind,” the third season of the show will likely go on after a delay.It was supposed to resume shooting in September and October. While in Winnipeg, he stayed at the Fort Garry Hotel, a classic old railway hotel which recently impressed U.S.writer Kim Morgan of Sunset Gun fame, during her stay.Sunset Gun has run two recent items on the hotel, Morgan’s base while here for a new Guy Maddin film.

  • Josh Massey

    He was only 40 in Dances With Wolves?

  • Hickenlooper

    Very saddened by the death of Maury. He truly was one of the most superb actors I have ever worked with. You could sense his greatness on the set. He has a few scenes in Casino Jack and the entire cast and crew was in awe of his immense talent. And when I say talent there is only one way to underscore that, and that is by saying it was comparable to Brando’s. He was a Canadian Brando whose performances were so connected to hs own inner life that every choice he made, even different, was pitch perfect. He will sorely be missed. It was a great honor to work with him.

  • nemo

    “Let’s face it: He also had the most memorable, bizarro role in DANCES WITH WOLVES. RIP, sir.”

    Chaykin was onscreen only a few minutes near the beginning, but he was terrific at setting the tone for the rest of the movie, the feeling that the Costner character was about to step off the edge of the known earth. The whiskey bottle rattling in the desk drawer, the paranoid “Do you think I don’t know?”

    That movie was also the first time I saw or heard of the wonderful Graham Greene (another Canadian) and Wes Studi.

  • DiscoNap

    RIP. Classiest Wells obit in ages. Good on you.

  • kingofnails

    What is there to be said that hasn’t already been said? A great talent. He will be missed.

  • Tessman

    Maury Chaykin had a kind of pure, natural talent that was extremely rare, impossible to learn or teach, and endlessly inventive and surprising. That, and Maury as person, made it a privilege to be fortunate enough to know and work with him.

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