By 1980, the Southern-accented Dennis Burkley had already guest appeared on such colorful series as "Kojak," "McCloud," and "Starsky and Hutch," establishing himself as a go-to character actor for casting directors in need of biker-gang goons and big-hearted good ol' boys. Burkley's role as an oddball Ohioan on the "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" spin-off, "Forever Fernwood," garnered him a recurring appearance as Sam Dickey on the long-running sitcom "Maude," which in turn was followed by a regular (but decidedly short-lived) role as the same character on the revamped "Maude" spin-off, "Hanging In." A tried-and-true veteran of the spin-off format, Burkley shortly thereafter became Fred G. Sanford's replacement junkyard partner on "Sanford," a renovated version of a classic comedy series. While continuing to appear on such '80s and '90s television shows as "Hill Street Blues," "The Dukes of Hazzard," and "Designing Women," the often-portly actor segued into the world of film, appearing as a gentle biker in the small-town drama "Mask" and as the Dog to Billy Idol's Cat in the musical biography "The Doors." Burkley's comic turn as a dim-witted farmhand in the Pauly Shore farce "Son in Law" helped set the mold for a recurring role on the Southern-fried sitcom "My Name Is Earl" and a long-running position as a utility voice player on the Texas-set animated sitcom "King of the Hill" (1997-2010). The actor is often recognized for his portrayals of scraggly bartenders in films such as "Con Air" and "Hollywood Homicide."