Alan Weeks, Actor in 'The French Connection,' Dies at 67
Also a dancer, the Broadway veteran appeared in the original 'Funny Girl,' 'The Wiz' and 'Ain't Misbehavin'.'
Alan Weeks, who appeared in the original Broadway production of Funny Girl and played a drug pusher in The French Connection, died on Oct. 10 of a brain aneurysm at home in East Nassau, N.Y., his wife, Sara, told The Hollywood Reporter. He was 67.
In a gritty scene in William Friedkin’s classic French Connection (1971), Weeks’ character is chased down by New York City detectives Popeye Doyle (Gene Hackman), dressed as Santa Claus, and Buddy Russo (Roy Scheider), dragged into an alley and abused.
On Twitter, Friedkin called Weeks “one of the best actors I’ve ever worked with.”
A native of Brooklyn, Weeks made his Broadway debut at age 10 in the 1958 musical comedy The Body Beautiful, choreographed by Herbert Ross, then appeared in 1967’s Hallelujah, Baby!, with music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden.
In the original 1964 Broadway production of Funny Girl, starring Barbra Streisand, Weeks played Five Finger Finney and danced. In the '70s, he performed on the Great White Way in The Wiz and Ain’t Misbehavin', and he directed and choreographed 1992’s The High Rollers Social and Pleasure Club.
Weeks made his movie debut in Shaft (1971) and later appeared in the 1974 blaxploitation films Willie Dynamite; Truck Turner, starring Isaac Hayes; and Black Belt Jones, with Jim "Dragon" Kelly.
He also was in the films Lost in the Stars (1974) and Brighton Beach Memoirs (1986), had a regular role on the short-lived 1982 CBS comedy Baker’s Dozen and guest-starred on episodes of Fame and Dallas.
In later years, Weeks taught theater in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and directed productions for the Capital Repertory Theater in Albany, N.Y.
In addition to his wife, survivors include sons Brinan and Christian Jack and daughters Demery and Eva Weeks.