Willie Loomis (John Karlen) of 'Dark Shadows' Dead at 86 Jan 23, 2020 19:41:23 GMT -5
Post by Graveyardbride on Jan 23, 2020 19:41:23 GMT -5
Willie Loomis of Dark Shadows Dead at 86
John Karlen, Willie Loomis of Dark Shadows, died Wednesday, January 22, of congestive heart failure at a hospice in Burbank, California. He was 86.
Karlen made his first appearance on Dark Shadows in Episode 206, which aired April 11, 1967, as the unsavory accomplice of Jason McGuire. Soon he became intrigued by stories that some members of the Collins family had been buried with their jewels, broke into the tomb at Eagle Hill Cemetery and released Barnabas Collins, a 175-year-old vampire. Barnabas commenced drinking Willie’s blood – which he extracted from his arm rather than his throat – to sustain his “undead” existence. Under the vampire’s spell, Willie becomes the wily “cousin from England’s” protector and handyman.
Karlen also played the roles of Carl Collins during the 1897 flashback, William Hollingshead Loomis in the 1970 parallel time episodes; Desmond Collins in the 1840 flashback; and Kendrick Young in the 1840 parallel story lines. In total, he appeared in 179 episodes of the Gothic soap opera.
He reprized his Willie Loomis role in the 1970 feature film, House of Dark Shadows, and played the part of Alex Jenkins in Night of Dark Shadows, released in 1971. He also had parts in other Dan Curtis productions, including The Picture of Dorian Gray and Trilogy of Terror.
After Dark Shadows, Karlen went on to play Harvey Lacey, the husband of New York cop Mary Beth Lacey on Cagney & Lacey (1981-1988), for which he won three Emmy awards.
Karlen starred in dozens of TV shows in the 1970s, 80s and early 90s, including, but not limited to, All in the Family, Barnaby Jones, Hawaii Five-O, Hill Street Blues, Mannix, Murder She Wrote, Night Gallery, Quincy, The Rockford Files and The Waltons.
Born John Adam Karlewicz to Polish parents on May 28, 1933, in Brooklyn, N.Y., Karlen is survived by one son, Adam.
Sources: Klaritza Rico, Variety, January 23, 2020; Fox News, January 23, 2020; IMDb; and Dark Shadows: Where Are They Now?