Character actor John Davis Chandler was born on January 28, 1935, in Hinton, West Virginia. He was raised in Charleston, West Virginia. Tall and thin, with fair hair, piercing blue eyes, a pale complexion and a nasal, whiny voice, Chandler specialized in portraying mean, neurotic and dangerous villains. He made an impressive film debut in his sole starring part as the titular sniveling, psychotic, homicidal weasel gangster in Mad Dog Coll (1961). He acted in a trio of Westerns for director Sam Peckinpah, and is especially memorable (and frightening) as the creepy Jimmy Hammond in the magnificent Ride the High Country (1962). He was excellent as vicious punk Arthur Reardon in The Young Savages (1961). He made an effectively loathsome appearance as a vile bushwhacker in the supremely spooky horror-western The Shadow of Chikara (1977) and had a nice bit as a bounty hunter in Clint Eastwood’s terrific The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976). He even played a good guy–of sorts–in Peckinpah’s Major Dundee (1965).
Chandler popped up in three entertaining drive-in exploitation features for director William Grefé: at his wacky best as the crazed, doped-up Acid in The Hooked Generation (1968), a foul shark poacher in the fun Jaws (1975) copy Mako: The Jaws of Death (1976) and an evil pot farmer in Whiskey Mountain (1977). Among the many TV shows John did guest spots on are Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993), Walker, Texas Ranger (1993), Chicago Hope (1994) ER (1994), Simon & Simon (1981), Hunter (1984), Murder, She Wrote (1984), Hill Street Blues (1981), T.J. Hooker (1982), Fantasy Island (1977), The Incredible Hulk (1977), Police Woman (1974), Gunsmoke (1955), Adam-12 (1968), The Fugitive (1963), Combat! (1962), The Rifleman (1958), Route 66 (1960) and The Virginian (1962). In real life he was an avid practitioner of yoga. Chandler died at age 75 on February 16, 2010 in Toluca Lake, California.
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