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Burgess Meredith: Comedy, Drama and Dragons

Published: 9/9/2012

Burgess Meredith is shown at the Emmy Awards in this 1977 photo. Meredith, the raspy-voiced actor whose film roles over 60 years included the fated hero in ``Winterset,'' the tragic caretaker in ``Of Mice and Men'' and the crusty boxing manager in ``Rocky,'' died Tuesday Sept. 9, 1997 at his home in Malibu; he was 89.(AP Photo/file)

Burgess Meredith at the Emmy Awards in 1977 (AP Photo)

Burgess Meredith was no one-trick pony – he was an actor with a range that was hard to match.

Movies and television, dramas and comedies, westerns and war pics, sci-fi and fantasy and sports stories… Meredith tackled and mastered it all. On the 15th anniversary of his death, here are a few of our favorite film and TV clips of Meredith at work.

Coach: Meredith was inspiring – albeit in a gritty way – as trainer Mickey Goldmill in the first three Rocky movies.

Villain: Meredith played one of our favorite Batman villains, The Penguin, in the 1960s TV series and in the 1966 movie Batman.

Bookworm to Beelzebub: Meredith starred in four Twilight Zone episodes, tying with Jack Klugman for the most roles on the show. He played a nerdy book lover in the classic "Time Enough at Last." And in another episode, he played the devil himself.

Grumpy Old Man: As Jack Lemmon's father in Grumpy Old Men and Grumpier Old Men, Meredith made us laugh.

Dragon: Yes, Meredith even played a dragon – one named Puff. In the Puff, the Magic Dragon animated movies of the 1970s and '80s, Meredith provided the voice of one of our all-time favorite dragons.

Written by Linnea Crowther

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