I’m definitely late to the party with this one, but I just felt the need to comment on the passing of character great Michael Pataki, who’s gone on to his greater reward at the age of 72 after a bout with cancer. He expired on April 16 of this year.
As you may or may not know, Thrilling Days of Yesteryear has an affinity for actors who give nothing less than 100 percent to their craft whether or not they become household names. Mr. Pataki is one of these “unsung Joes”; often turning up in scads of small television and movie roles. You’ve seen his work: he was Korax in the legendary Star Trek episode “The Trouble with Tribbles;” Count Mallachi in the Happy Days “Fonzie Loves Pinky” story arc; and the titular character in “The Americanization of Ivan,” a classic installment of WKRP in Cincinnati. Pataki even scored regular roles in television series both remembered and forgotten: The Flying Nun (as Roberto), Paul Sands in Friends and Lovers (Charlie Dreyfuss), The Amazing Spider-Man (Captain Barbera) and Phyl & Mikhy (Vladimir Gimenko). His voice may also be recognizable to Ren & Stimpy fans, having played “George Liquor” in several episodes.
On the big screen, Pataki made memorable appearances in films like The Dirt Gang (1972), The Onion Field (1979), Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985) and Rocky IV (1985). Cult film fans will no doubt remember his memorable turn as Count Dracula in the unforgettable Dracula's Dog (1978).
R.I.P, Mr. Pataki. You will be missed.