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William Lucking, the rugged character actor who portrayed the old-school biker Piney Winston on FX drama series Sons of Anarchy, has died. He was 80.
Lucking died Oct. 18 at his home in Las Vegas, his wife, Sigrid Insull Lucking, announced in an obituary distributed by friend and fellow actor Stephen Macht.
“Although William often played toughs and strongmen, in his actual life he was an elegant man with a brilliant intellect who loved to argue about politics and current affairs, discuss philosophy and physics and assert fine-pointed opinions about art and poetry,” his wife said.
Lucking also played Army Col. Lynch on NBC’s The A-Team from 1983-84 and the Bajoran Furel on three episodes of the syndicated Star Trek: Deep Space Nine from 1995-97.
On the big screen, he portrayed a roughneck alongside Faye Dunaway and George C. Scott in Stanley Kramer’s Oklahoma Crude (1976) and showed up in The Magnificent Seven Ride! (1972), Arthur Hiller’s The Crazy World of Julius Vrooder (1974), The Return of a Man Called Horse (1976), Curtis Hanson’s The River Wild (1994), Steven Soderbergh’s Erin Brockovich (2000), Peter Berg’s The Rundown (2003), Roger Donaldson’s The World’s Fastest Indian (2005) and Baltasar Kormákur’s Contraband (2012).
Lucking appeared as founding SAMCRO member Piermont “Piney” Winston, father of Ryan Hurst’s Harry “Opie” Winston, on 35 episodes of Kurt Sutter’s Sons of Anarchy, from the series’ start in 2008 through the fourth season in 2011.
Born on June 17, 1941, in Vicksburg, Michigan, Lucking and his family moved to California in the early 1950s. He graduated from UCLA with a degree in literature, then studied theater at the Pasadena Playhouse.
He made his onscreen debut on a 1968 episode of Ironside and went on to appear on Mission: Impossible, The Partridge Family, Gunsmoke, The Waltons, Hart to Hart, Lou Grant, Newhart, Columbo, NYPD Blue, The X-Files and The West Wing.
He also had regular roles on two short-lived CBS dramas, 1981-82’s Shannon and 1986-87’s Outlaws.
In addition to his wife of 25 years — she is a former costume designer — survivors include his daughters, Marjet and Juliana, and granddaughters Quinlan and Lilian. His first wife, Mimi, died of cancer in 1996.
Macht wrote that he first met Lucking in Hawaii on the set of the 1977 NBC series Big Hawaii: “I asked him, ‘Why did you become an actor!?’ Bill’s answer, ‘Some asshole clapped!’ Bill transcended all the trappings of the ‘biz’ and reached a rare, splendid, powerful art of acting and will forever live in my memory.”
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