A popular character actor whose talent and charm frequently brought him leading man roles, Darren McGavin was one of the more beloved familiar faces on television. After a turbulent youth, McGavin inadvertently turned to acting and after notable work on stage and television, began making appearances alongside some of film's biggest names like Frank Sinatra "The Man with the Golden Arm" (1955) and Jerry Lewis in "The Delicate Delinquent" (1957). With his rugged good looks and streetwise charisma, McGavin was the perfect choice to play pulp novelist Mickey Spillane's skirt-chasing, hard-living private eye in "Mike Hammer" (syndicated, 1986-59). But it was McGavin's role as the tenacious reporter of the macabre, Carl Kolchak, in the made-for-TV horror movie "The Night Stalker" (ABC, 1972) that would forever endear him to an entire generation of young television viewers. When it became ABC's highest-rated TV movie ever at the time, a sequel and a weekly series, "Kolchak: The Night Stalker" (ABC, 1973-74), were quickly put into production. A decade later, McGavin delivered his second indelible character when he played the curmudgeonly yet loving father of Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) in the perennial holiday classic, "A Christmas Story" (1983). So influential was the character of Kolchak in the creation of "The X-Files" (Fox, 1993-2002), that series creator Chris Carter later cast McGavin in a pair of episodes. Blessed with impeccable timing and personality plus, McGavin elevated the quality of each and every project on his impressive résumé.