Gene Dynarski Dies: Seinfeld and Star Trek Actor Was 86

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Gene Dynarski, a beloved actor who appeared in several hit TV shows, has died. 

Dynarski’s death was announced by friend and playwright Ernest Kearney, who shared on his website that Dynarski had been recuperating from a “mild heart episode” for the last month.

The website reveals the date of death as February 27.


“I had visited Gene only a few days prior,” Kearney writes.

“He seemed his old self, ranting on about me finding him a lawyer to sue the rehab-center…I could tell by the glances of the staff passing by his room that Gene had managed to piss them off."

“Spielberg recognized Dynarski’s talents and used him a second time in his sci-fi epic Close Encounters of the Third Kind," Kearney said.

"In one of the film’s best scenes, Dynarski played the supervisor who sends Richard Dreyfuss to investigate the mysterious blackouts. And here’s a good example of Dynarski pissing off the wrong people."

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“He pissed off Spielberg. Pissed him off to the point where, after its 1977 debut, Spielberg cut Dynarski out of all the film’s subsequent releases."

"It wasn’t until the release of the 30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition that included the 1977 edition that Dynarski’s performance could be seen again,” Kearney wrote.

Dynarski also appeared on two episodes of the original Star Trek, and multiple episodes of the 1960s Batman series. 

In 1979, Dynarski opened the Gene Dynarski Theatre near Sunset Boulevard and Western Avenue in Los Angeles.

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Tom Hanks, Ed Harris and Elisabeth Shue also performed shows there before it closed down in the 1990s.

Before he got acting jobs through casting director Lynn Stalmaster, Dynarski worked at a bowling alley and served in the U.S. Navy.

His first on-screen debut on an episode of Ben Casey, an ABC medical drama.

He is survived by two daughters.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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