John Karlen, ‘Dark Shadows’ and ‘Cagney & Lacey’ Actor, Dies at 86

He played Willie Loomis on “Shadows” and was the husband of Tyne Daly’s Mary Beth Lacey on CBS sitcom

Last Updated: January 23, 2020 @ 1:31 PM

John Karlen, an actor who appeared in “Dark Shadows” and “Cagney & Lacey,” died of congestive heart failure on Wednesday. He was 86.

His death was reported on Twitter by the Dark Shadows News account: “We are sad to report the death of #DarkShadows actor John Karlen, who played Willie Loomis, the unforgettable foil to Barnabas Collins. John died on January 22 in hospice care in Burbank, California. He was 86 had suffered a number of health setbacks over the past decade…”

Karlen is best known for playing Willie Loomis on “Dark Shadows,” a supernatural-themed soap opera from the 1960s. He ended up playing the character over 179 episodes. He is also known for his role as Harvey Lacey in the CBS sitcom, “Cagney & Lacey,” which ran from 1982 to 1988, where he played the husband of Tyne Daly’s Mary Beth Lacey.

Karlen was nominated for three Emmys for his role and won for Outstanding Supporting Actor in 1986. He reprised the role in a handful of TV “Cagney & Lacey” films.

His additional TV credits include “Daughters of Darkness,” “Night of Terror,” “The Sixth Sense,” “Night Gallery,” “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” “The Wide World of Mystery” and “Trilogy of Terror.” His most recent roles came in the mid-1990s in small parts on “Murder, She Wrote” and “Mad About You.”

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