The award-winning Canadian-American character actor Maury Chaykin was born on July 27, 1949 in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Professor Irving J. Chaykin and his wife Clarice. Irving Chaykin, an American citizen, taught accountancy at the City College of New York. The former Clarice Bloomfield, his mother, was born in Winnipeg, raised in Montreal, and educated at the Beth Israel Hospital nursing school in Newark, New Jersey. Because of his parents, Maury held dual Canadian and American citizenship.
He was raised in New York City but moved to Toronto after graduating from the State University of New York, Buffalo, where he studied drama. His uncle, George Bloomfield, made his name in Canada as a movie and television writer, director and producer. Maury would later star in two theatrical movies, one TV movie and 14 TV episodes directed by his uncle.
Maury made his debut in the 1975 Canadian film Me (1975). In his 35-year-long career, he appeared in over 150 parts in films and TV series shot in Canada and the U.S. He was best known for his eccentric role as Kevin Costner’s commanding officer in the Oscar-winning Dances with Wolves (1990), three films of Atom Egoyan, including The Sweet Hereafter (1997), and his role as Nero Wolfe on cable TV. (His uncle George Bloomfield directed some of the Nero Wolfe episodes.)
He won a Genie Award, the Canadian equivalent of the Oscar, as Best Supporting Actor for his performance as a has-been rock star in Whale Music (1994) and two Gemini Awards, the Canadian equivalent of the Emmy. Recently, he had a semi-recurring role as a movie producer based on Harvey Weinstein in the cable-TV series Entourage (2004) and a regular role on the Canadian TV series Less Than Kind (2008).
Chaykin was suffering from kidney disease in the last years of his life. He died on his 61st birthday, July 27, 2010, at Toronto General Hospital, surrounded by members of his family. He was married to the Canadian actress Susannah Hoffmann, by whom he had a daughter, Rose.
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