Don Calfa

One look into Don Calfa's piercing eyes makes it clear why he was cast as resourceful mortician Ernie Kaltenbrunner in 1985's gory horror comedy "The Return of the Living Dead". Equal parts Bela Lugosi and Buster ... Read more »
Born: 12/03/1939

Filmography

Actor (49)

Downward Angel 2001 (Movie)

Adam (Actor)

Dr. Dolittle 1998 (Movie)

Patient at Hammersmith (Actor)

Progeny 1998 (Movie)

Jimmy Stevens (Actor)

Boy Meets World 1994 - 1995 (Tv Show)

Actor

Doogie Howser, M.D. 1989 - 1995 (Tv Show)

Actor

Mr. Payback 1995 (Movie)

City Hall Guard (Actor)

Murder, She Wrote 1988 - 1995 (Tv Show)

Actor

H.P. Lovecraft's Necronomicon 1994 (Movie)

Mr Benedict (Actor)

Toughguy 1994 (Movie)

(Actor)

Me, Myself and I 1993 (Movie)

Irving (Actor)

Bugsy 1991 (Movie)

Louie Dragna (Actor)

Chopper Chicks in Zombietown 1991 (Movie)

Ralph Willum (Actor)

Rest in Peace, Mrs. Columbo 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Weekend at Bernie's 1989 (Movie)

Paulie (Actor)

Blue Movies 1988 (Movie)

Max (Actor)

The Presidio 1988 (Movie)

Howard Buckley (Actor)

Treasure of the Moon Goddess 1988 (Movie)

Harold (Actor)

Talking Walls 1987 (Movie)

(Actor)

Running Scared 1986 (Movie)

Women's Room Lawyer (Actor)

Return of the Living Dead 1985 (Movie)

Ernie (Actor)

Legmen 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Allison Sidney Harrison 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

The National Snoop 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

The Star Chamber 1983 (Movie)

Lawrence Monk (Actor)

Park Place 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

The Postman Always Rings Twice 1981 (Movie)

Goebel (Actor)

10 1979 (Movie)

Neighbor (Actor)

1941 1979 (Movie)

Telephone Operator (Actor)

Foul Play 1978 (Movie)

Scarface (Actor)

The Beach Girls 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

The Rose 1978 (Movie)

Don Frank (Actor)

New York, New York 1977 (Movie)

(Actor)

Riding High 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

Nickelodeon 1976 (Movie)

Waldo (Actor)

Peeper 1976 (Movie)

Rosie (Actor)

Bank Shot 1973 (Movie)

Stosh Gornik (Actor)

Cinderella Liberty 1973 (Movie)

Lewis (Actor)

Shanks 1973 (Movie)

Motorcycle Gang Member (Actor)

Greaser's Palace 1971 (Movie)

Morris (Actor)

The Rainbow Boys 1971 (Movie)

Mazella (Actor)

Pound 1969 (Movie)

(Actor)

Columbo: Strange Bedfellows (TV Show)

Actor

Goodnight My Love (TV Show)

Actor

Shooting Stars (TV Show)

Actor

Steel Cowboy (TV Show)

Actor

The Blue Knight (TV Show)

Actor

The Comedy Company (TV Show)

Actor

The Day the Bubble Burst (TV Show)

Actor

The Law (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

One look into Don Calfa's piercing eyes makes it clear why he was cast as resourceful mortician Ernie Kaltenbrunner in 1985's gory horror comedy "The Return of the Living Dead". Equal parts Bela Lugosi and Buster Keaton, Calfa never allowed his distinctive look to typecast him, and often leapt from genre to genre to avoid falling into a rut. Reportedly inspired by the quintessential teenage drama, "Rebel Without a Cause", Calfa dropped out of high school in the late 1950s to pursue acting full-time. He broke into the industry in the late '60s, where he would thrive for decades playing offbeat characters on both the big and small screen. Calfa's knack for hiding himself in his roles proved valuable; he appeared on "Barney Miller" seven times between 1977 and 1981, playing a different character each time. Calfa was in a pair of hits in the latter half of the decade, first Dan O'Bannon's aforementioned zombie flick, and then the outrageous high-concept comedy "Weekend at Bernie's", in which he played hapless hit man Paulie. Calfa has also scored minor roles working with A-list actors and directors, including Steven Spielberg for the World War II farce "1941" and the 1981 neo-noir film "The Postman Always Rings Twice", which starred Jack Nicholson.

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