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Richard Evans, who tussled with Ryan O’Neal’s character on the ABC primetime soap Peyton Place and appeared in Dirty Little Billy, the final film from producer Jack L. Warner, has died. He was 86.
Evans died Oct. 2 of cancer on Whidbey Island in Washington state, a family spokesman announced.
Evans also co-starred in the Robert Mulligan-directed neo-noir crime drama The Nickel Ride (1974) and played the sidekick of George C. Scott’s artist character in Ernest Hemingway’s Islands in the Stream (1977), helmed by Franklin J. Schaffner.
During his 40-year acting career, Evans showed up as a guest star on such TV series as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Death Valley Days, Cheyenne, Mr. Novak, The Fugitive, Star Trek, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Mod Squad, Lotsa Luck!, Mannix and The A-Team.
In 1965 on the first season of ABC’s Peyton Place, Evans portrayed Paul Hanley, who falsely accused O’Neal’s Rodney Harrington of murdering his sister, and he played Goldie, Michael J. Pollard‘s psychopathic mentor, in Dirty Little Billy (1972), also starring Lee Purcell.
Born on Jan. 23, 1935, in Kansas City, Missouri, Evans also wrote, directed and produced for the big screen and for local theater and was an artist and author. His final book, completed shortly before his death, is a collection of plays to be performed free of rental fees when staged as fundraisers for the homeless.
He and his family made their home on Whidbey Island for 32 years after they left Los Angeles.
Survivors include his wife of 68 years, Jo Evans, former casting director of Lien/Evans; son Paul; and granddaughters Sarah (and her husband, Aaron), Madalyn (Joey) and Rachel (Geoff).
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