Old School Americana & Nostalgia

People

Charles Dierkop, ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’ Actor, Dies at 87

Charles Dierkop, ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’ Actor, Dies at 87

Charles Dierkop, the character actor known for tough guy roles in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting, has passed away at 87. Dierkop died on Sunday at Sherman Oaks Hospital after a heart attack and pneumonia battle, according to his daughter, Lynn, in The Hollywood Reporter.

After a cameo as an uncredited tough guy in 1961’s The Hustler with Paul Newman, Charles Dierkop joined Newman in 1969’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid as Hole in the Wall Gang’s George “Flat Nose” Curry. Dierkop had fractured his nose multiple times in childhood scuffles, making him well-suited for the role.

He reunited with Newman in the Academy Award-winning film The Sting (1973), portraying Floyd, the bodyguard safeguarding Robert Shaw’s character, crime boss Doyle Lonnegan.

In the 60s, Dierkop guest starred on three iconic TV shows. He portrayed a bank robber in the 1966 Andy Griffith Show episode “Otis, the Deputy”. Meanwhile, he played the role of an alien named Morla in the 1967 Star Trek episode “Wolf in the Fold”. He also acted as a henchman named Dustbag in the 1968 Batman episode “Penguin’s Clean Sweep.”

Following His ‘Butch Cassidy’ and ‘The Sting’ Success, Charles Dierkop Tackled TV

During the 1970s, Charles Dierkop transitioned to television. He was featured in two episodes of the NBC drama Police Story, created by Joseph Wambaugh. In the second episode, airing in March 1974 titled “The Gamble,” he portrayed Det. Pete Royster. Interestingly, this episode essentially served as the pilot for the series Police Woman.

Dierkop starred as Royster for four seasons (1974-78) on NBC’s Police Woman. He partnered with Sgt. Suzanne “Pepper” Anderson (Dickinson) and Det. Joe Styles (Ed Bernard) in an undercover LAPD unit led by Lt. Bill Crowley (Earl Holliman).

Frequently cast as a villain, he made appearances on popular TV shows like Gunsmoke, Lost in Space, Bonanza, Mission: Impossible, Kojak, Fantasy Island, Simon & Simon, MacGyver, and ER.

Dierkop also appeared with Rod Steiger in Sidney Lumet’s The Pawnbroker (1964), and played mobster Salvanti in Roger Corman‘s The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (1967). Of course, horror fans remember his turn as a creepy Santa Claus in the 1984 cult slasher film Silent Night, Deadly Night.

Dierkop wed Joan Addis, whom he encountered at the American Foundation of Dramatic Arts, in 1958. However, they divorced in 1974. They were parents to two children, Charles Jr., who passed away at the age of 29 in 1990, and Lynn.