An earlier post about Teri Garr mentioned that I first noticed her on the McCloud segment of the NBC Mystery Movie. And while I was a fan of McCloud, I remembered Weaver from reruns of Gunsmoke where he played Marshall Dillon's trusty sidekick Chester.
Of course Dennis Weaver did much more than just that. He was a film and stage actor, and is reported to have been in a small singing group with Amanda Blake (Miss Kitty from Gunsmoke) and Milburn Stone (Doc, also from Gunsmoke). And, of course, he was in the now famous MOW Duel directed by a young Steven Spielberg. And while Spielberg deservedly received a great deal of credit, credit also needs to go to Weaver for his outstanding performance.
Anyone in the performing arts knows that while acting isn't rocket science, it is a craft that when performed successfully, looks as though anyone could do it.
Weaver made any role he appeared in his own, and in so doing, made it look effortless. I have to tell you that it really is a sad weekend with the loss of Don Knotts, Darrin McGavin and now Dennis Weaver. While these very gifted actors can never be replaced, I wish there were actors of their caliber that I could at least look to and gain some sense of reassurance that their likes live today.