Richard Davalos, who appeared in such enduring films as East of Eden, Cool Hand Luke and Kelly’s Heroes, died Tuesday at St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank. He was 85.
Davalos appeared on several classic TV shows and movies alongside some of Hollywood’s biggest names, including Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood and James Dean. Born November 5, 1930 in the Bronx, Davalos had just a few TV appearances under his belt when he was cast as Aron Trask — opposite Dean, another young man making his screen debut — in Elia Kazan’s East of Eden. Davalos worked steadily on the big and small screens after that, eventually landing a lead on another tale of two young brothers, NBC’s Civil War drama The Americans, which aired in 1961.
After that, the actor — often billed as Dick Davalos — guested on such classic TV dramas as Bonanza, 77 Sunset Strip, Perry Mason and Rawhide before landing a role in 1967’s Cool Hand Luke as Blind Dick, a convict on the chain gang with Newman and George Kennedy (who died last month). In 1970, he was part of the elite World War II team in Kelly’s Heroes, playing a sniper opposite Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Don Rickles, Carroll O’Connor and Gavin MacLeod.
Davalos continued to guest on popular shows throughout the 1970s and into the ’80s, specializing in action dramas such as Mannix, The F.B.I., S.W.A.T., The Rockford Files, Hawaii Five-O, Hart to Hart and The Fall Guy and Murder, She Wrote, along with the classic comedy The Jeffersons and miniseries How The West Was Won. He also appeared in such big-screen fare Pit Stop, Hot Stuff, Battle Beyond the Stars and Death Hunt.