The Acting Corps: Chris Mulkey

Watching Charlie’s Angels S4 E10 “Angels on Skates” (from 11/21/79) this morning — there’s only so much news and commentary I can cope with in a day, so I retreat to lightweight stuff to keep my sanity — I caught a very familiar actor face, looking impossibly young. This turned out to be Chris Mulkey, whose name you might not know, but (if you’re American) whose face wil be extraordinarily familiar, because he’s appeared in an unbelievable number of tv series, and at the age of 72 is still at it.

A premier member of what I’ve called the Acting Corps, reliable, versatile, and hard-working actors who make the whole business work (there’s a Page on this blog on the Acting Corps).

Mulkey as Hank Jennings — Henry “Hank” Jennings, the criminal husband of Norma Jennings, a man who often acted as a henchman for several of Twin Peaks’ more shady citizens, such as Ben Horne and Josie Packard; photo from the Twin Peaks Wiki, from 1990-91

The Wikipedia summary of the Charlie’s Angels episode:

A young girl is kidnapped while performing as a skater on Venice Beach. The Angels investigate Freddie Fortune (Rene Auberjonois)’s rink, where Kris joins the skating chorus line.

(So in addition to Mulkey in the Actors Corps, there’s Auberjonois — and also Ed Begley Jr.)

On Mulkey, from Wikipedia:

Chris Mulkey (born May 3, 1948) is an American film and television actor.

… Mulkey played the supporting role of husband to Annie Potts’s character in Any Day Now from 1998-2002. He has also appeared in Captain Phillips, Against the Wall, Cloverfield, the NBC TV movie, Knight Rider, and 24, Boardwalk Empire, Friday Night Lights, Boomtown, Justified, Baretta and Twin Peaks. [and much more; he’s pretty much been in everything. And he’s still acting; recent credits include Better Call Saul, Lucifer, Hawaii 5.0, Animal Kingdom.

He has a complex, expressive actor’s face. And he’s tall — 6′  1″ — so he makes a strong physical presence wherever he goes. (On the personal front, he was married to actress Karen Landry from 1981 until her death in 2015.)


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