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Archive for Sunday, January 19, 2003

Actor Crenna dies at 76

January 19, 2003

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— Richard Crenna, the Emmy award-winning character actor who starred as a lovesick teenager on "Our Miss Brooks" and Sylvester Stallone's Green Beret mentor in the "Rambo" films, has died. He was 76.

Crenna, whose credits also included "Wait Until Dark," "The Flamingo Kid," and television's "The Real McCoys," died Friday of pancreatic cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, daughter Seana Crenna said Saturday.

"He was one of the brightest, nicest, funniest and most talented actors I've ever worked with," Sylvester Stallone said Saturday. "He was everyone's friend."

Crenna often played tough guys on screen, but at home he rarely lost his sense of humor, his family said.

"Even after 46 years, he had me laughing, even in the hospital," his wife, Penni Crenna, said Saturday.

Crenna moved easily between television and the movies, and worked steadily through the years. He appeared in several critically hailed movies, including 1984's "The Flamingo Kid," which earned him a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor.

He earned an Emmy for his 1985 performance as the title character in "The Rape of Richard Beck."

Most recently, he appeared as the love interest opposite Tyne Daly on CBS' "Judging Amy." An episode featuring a wedding between the two characters was recently postponed because of Crenna's illness.

Crenna is survived by his wife and three adult children.

A public service will be Jan. 25.

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