Richard Davalos, 'East of Eden' and 'Cool Hand Luke' Actor, Dies at 85

Richard Davalos

The actor was once roommates with James Dean.

Richard Davalos, who was featured in such classic films as East of Eden (1955) and Cool Hand Luke (1967), has died. He was 85.

The actor died Tuesday at St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, a hospital official confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.

Davalos is best known for his role in East of Eden as Aron Trask, the younger brother of James Dean’s character, Cal. Previously a movie usher, he was discovered by director Elia Kazan and soon cast in his first film role. During filming, he shared a Burbank apartment with Dean.

He also starred opposite Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke as convict Blind Dick. Davalos’ other films include All the Young Men (1960), The Cabinet of Caligari (1962), Brother, Cry for Me (1970), Kelly’s Heroes (1970), Hot Stuff (1979), Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) and Ninja Cheerleaders (2008).

His TV credits include roles on Bonanza, The Americans, Perry Mason, Mannix, The Rockford Files, Hawaii Five-O, The Jeffersons, Hart to Hart and Murder, She Wrote.

Davalos also garnered some fame when he was featured on the cover art of The Smiths’ 1987 album Strangeways, Here We Come. Of the image, the actor told Mojo: “I’m in as much of a dilemma as to why Morrissey chose me for the cover as you, but I was terribly flattered.” Davalos’ image also appears on The Smiths’ U.S. releases of Best... I and ...Best II.

Davalos’ survivors include his two daughters, actress Elyssa and musician Dominique, and his granddaughter, actress Alexa.