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John Karlen (1933–2020), starred as Willie Loomis on cult favorite “Dark Shadows”

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Won an Emmy for his role as Tyne Daly’s husband on “Cagney & Lacey”

John Karlen played Willie Loomis on the cult favorite TV daytime gothic soap opera “Dark Shadows.” Loomis was the James Dean type that breaks into the Collins family mausoleum and unknowingly releases the vampire Barnabas Collins. Collins attacks Loomis and turns him into his servant. In the 1980s, Karlen played the husband of Tyne Daly’s character Mary Beth Lacey on the crime series “Cagney & Lacey.” He won an Emmy for the role in 1986. Later he played Helen Hunt’s father on “Mad About You.” Karlen served in the Korean War and made his Broadway debut in 1960.

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Died: Wednesday, January 22, 2020 (Who else died on January 22?)

Details of death: Died at the age of 86 from congestive heart failure.


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Karlen on playing Willie Loomis: "You could really wring out your emotions, you could really go the limit, you could do big things on that show, which is fun for an actor. If you're telling Barnabas, 'You can't suck all of this woman's blood out of her body,' it's fantasy, it's crazy, but you go with it." —Karlen in an undated interview on You Tube 

What they said about him: “Goodbye #JohnKarlen. Sad news. I'll always remember our #DarkShadows chat on the Fox lot many years ago. My sister and I ran home every day after school to watch. Never missed it.” —Actress Lisa Cordray on Twitter

Full obituary: The Hollywood Reporter

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