Maury Chaykin in A Nero Wolfe Mystery
|Born||Maury Alan Chaykin
July 27, 1949
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Died||July 27, 2010
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Maury Alan Chaykin (July 27, 1949 – July 27, 2010) was an American-born Canadian actor, best known for his portrayal of detective Nero Wolfe, as well as for his work as a character actor in many films and television programs.
Chaykin was born in Brooklyn, New York. His father, Irving J. Chaykin (1912–2007), was born in Brooklyn, and was a professor of accountancy at City College of New York. His mother, Clarice Chaykin (née Bloomfield, 1921–2012), was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, but raised in Montreal, Quebec since the age of three. She graduated from Beth Israel Hospital nursing school in Newark, New Jersey. Chaykin's maternal uncle, George Bloomfield (1930–2011), was a veteran Canadian director, producer, writer and actor who directed Chaykin in a number of projects for film and television.
Raised in New York City, Chaykin studied drama at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. He subsequently moved to Toronto, Ontario, where he resided until his death. Chaykin's first marriage, to Canadian producer Ilana Frank, ended in divorce. He was subsequently married to Canadian actress Susannah Hoffmann, with whom he had one daughter, Rose. Best known for having played Jen Pringle in the Anne of Avonlea series, Hoffmann had a supporting role in a 2002 episode of the television series A Nero Wolfe Mystery, in which Chaykin starred.
Chaykin was known for portrayals of blustery supporting characters. One of his rare leading roles was Nero Wolfe. Chaykin first played the legendary detective in The Golden Spiders: A Nero Wolfe Mystery (2000), an A&E telefilm adaptation of the 1953 novel by Rex Stout. Timothy Hutton costarred in the production as Archie Goodwin. The New York Times reported Chaykin's "undisguised delight" at starring in the promotion for The Golden Spiders: "There's an extraordinary billboard up on Sunset Boulevard right now, with a humongous photograph of my face. ... I drive by it constantly, back and forth, back and forth." The original movie's success led to the weekly series, A Nero Wolfe Mystery, which played for two seasons on A&E and continues to air internationally. Chaykin and Hutton had worked together previously, albeit briefly, in the 1985 film Turk 182; and they worked together subsequently, in the 2006 film Heavens Fall.
Two of Chaykin's early motion picture roles brought him public recognition: computer programmer Jim Sting in WarGames and prosecution witness Sam Tipton in My Cousin Vinny. In 1990, he had a small but pivotal role in the film Dances with Wolves, portraying Major Fambrough.
Chaykin had his first starring role in Whale Music, a 1994 film in which he played a burned-out rock star, a character based largely on Brian Wilson. Chaykin was named Best Actor at the 15th Genie Awards for his portrayal.
Chaykin portrayed the colourful bookie Frank Perlin opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman's compulsive gambler Dan Mahowny in Owning Mahowny, a film that critic Roger Ebert named as one of the ten best of 2003. In 2006, Chaykin appeared in an episode of the Ken Finkleman miniseries At the Hotel and received a Gemini Award for best performance by an actor in a guest role. He had a semi-recurring role in the HBO series Entourage, as volatile movie producer Harvey Weingard, a send-up of the celebrated producer Harvey Weinstein. He also appeared as Stan Deane, father of Kevin Zegers' character Woody Deane, in the 2006 romantic comedy It's a Boy Girl Thing.
Chaykin starred as Sam Blecher, the owner of a family-run driving school in Winnipeg, in the first two seasons (2008–2010) of the Canadian comedy-drama television series Less Than Kind. The series received the 2010 Gemini Award for Best Comedy Program or Series.
"Sam is an out-of-control, good-hearted, big-hearted person who just can't quite get it right with his family," Chaykin told Q radio interviewer Jian Ghomeshi in April 2010. "He's full of love but he can't express it. But what he does express is anxiety, desperation, and the need to dominate, which is kind of pathetic." Asked whether he liked the character, Chaykin replied, "I love him. I do, I really do, and it's the same kind of love that a person has for family — where you see their foibles but at the same time you embrace them because they are a part of you. And Sam certainly is a part of me.
In 2011 Chaykin posthumously received the ACTRA Toronto Award for Outstanding Performance — Male for his performance as Sam Blecher in Less Than Kind. He had been nominated for the award in 2003, for his portrayal of Nero Wolfe.
Maury Chaykin died in Toronto on July 27, 2010, his 61st birthday, from complications of a heart valve infection.
Select theatre credits for Maury Chaykin were part of his resumé at Edna Talent Management, Ltd.
|1968||Oh! What A Lovely War||Ambassador||University at Buffalo Theatre||Tom Moore|
|1973||Fat Fell Down||Spike||Theater for the New City|
|1974||Me?||Oliver Jordan||Toronto Free Theatre||John Palmer|
|1974||Tony's Woman||Alexq||Theatre Passe Muraille||Hrant Alianak|
|1977||Gossip||Sam Lewis||Toronto Free Theatre||John Palmer|
|1977||The Boy Bishop||De Bois||Factory Theatre Lab||Ken Gass|
|1977||Romulus the Great||Zeno||Theatre Plus||Marion André|
|1978||Gimme Shelter||Ton||Brooklyn Academy of Music Dodger Theatre||Des McAnuff|
|1979||Leave It to Beaver Is Dead||Thompson||The Public Theatre||Des McAnuff|
|1985||A Man's a Man||Jip||La Jolla Playhouse||Robert Woodruff|
|1978||King of Kensington (TV series)||"Polyfur"|
|1980||Jimmy B. and André||Bruno|
|1980||The Kidnapping of the President||Harvey Cannon|
|1981||The July Group||Harvey|
|1981||Just Jessie||Joey Harper|
|1982||Soup for One||Wexler|
|1982–1986||Seeing Things (TV series)||Randall Jackson||"Evil Eye" (1982)
"I'm Looking Through You" (1984)
"Defective Vision" (1986)
"Optical Illusion" (1986)
|1983||Overdrawn at the Memory Bank||Gondol|
|1983||ABC Weekend Special (TV series)||Mousey||"Horatio Alger Updated: Frank and Fearless"|
|1983||Of Unknown Origin||Dan Errol|
|1984||Hockey Night||Bum Johnston|
|1984||Harry & Son||Lawrence|
|1984||The Guardian||Rudy Simbro|
|1984||Mrs. Soffel||Guard Charlie Reynolds|
|1985||The Suicide Murders||Sid|
|1985||Turk 182||Man in Wheelchair|
|1985||In Like Flynn||Williams|
|1985||Canada's Sweetheart: The Saga of Hal C. Banks||Harold Chamberlain Banks|
|1986||Meatballs III: Summer Job||Huey, River Rat Leader|
|1986||The Vindicator||Burt Arthurs|
|1986||Act of Vengeance||Claude Vealey|
|1986||Philip Marlowe, Private Eye (TV series)||Lt. Copernik||"Red Wind"|
|1986||Night Heat (TV series)||Mallory
|1986||Crime Story (TV series)||Steven Kordo||"Crime Pays"|
|1987||Adderly (TV series)||Russian Agent||"Requiem"|
|1987||The Bedroom Window||Pool Player|
|1987||Wild Thing||Jonathan Trask|
|1987||Race for the Bomb (TV miniseries)||General Leslie Groves|
|1987||Nowhere to Hide||Marchais|
|1987||Diamonds (TV series)||Murray Wolf||"Here Comes the Bride"|
|1987||Hearts of Fire||Charlie Kelso|
|1988||Stars and Bars||Freeborn Gage|
|1988||Iron Eagle II||Sgt. Downs|
|1989||Cold Comfort||Floyd Lucas|
|1989||The Twilight Zone (TV series)||James L. "Fats" Brown||"A Game of Pool"|
|1989||George's Island||Mr. Droonfield|
|1989||Breaking In||Vincent Tucci|
|1990||Labor of Love|
|1990||Where the Heart Is||Harry|
|1990||Street Legal (TV series)||Ben Tochet||"Holy Thursday"
|1990||Dances with Wolves||Major Fambrough|
|1991||Montréal vu par...||"En passant" (segment)|
|1991||Conspiracy of Silence||Lawyer D'Arcy Bancroft|
|1992||Split Images||Walter Kouza|
|1992||My Cousin Vinny||Sam Tipton|
|1992||Leaving Normal||Leon "Crazy-As" Pendleton|
|1992||Buried on Sunday||Dexter Lexcannon|
|1992||Hero||Winston, Bernie's Landlord|
|1993||Matrix (TV series)||Lionel Meeks/Charles Meeks||"A Madness to His Method"|
|1993||Money for Nothing||Vincente Goldoni|
|1993||Josh and S.A.M.||Pizza Man|
|1993||Beethoven's 2nd||Cliff Klamath|
|1994||Whale Music||Desmond Howl||Genie Award|
|1995||Unstrung Heroes||Arthur Lidz|
|1995||Devil in a Blue Dress||Matthew Terell|
|1995||Cutthroat Island||John Reed|
|1996||If Looks Could Kill||Dr. Richard Boggs|
|1997||Keeping the Promise||Ben Loomis|
|1997||La Femme Nikita (TV series)||Rudy||"Innocent" — Gemini Award|
|1997||Love and Death on Long Island||Irving Buckmuller|
|1997||The Sweet Hereafter||Wendell Walker|
|1997||Gone Fishin'||Kirk, Waiter||uncredited|
|1997||Northern Lights||Ben Rubadue|
|1997||Pale Saints||The Pirate|
|1997||A Life Less Ordinary||Tod Johnson|
|1997–1998||Due South (TV series)||Pike
|"Spy vs. Spy" (1997)
"Mojo Rising" (1998)
|1998||Death by Dawn|
|1998||Tracey Takes On... (TV series)||Kurt Rasmussen||"Marriage"|
|1998||Emily of New Moon (TV series)||Lofty John|
|1998||Jerry and Tom||Billy|
|1998||The Mask of Zorro||Prison Warden|
|1998||Psi Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal (TV series)||Dr. Bob Dalhousie||"Harlequin"|
|1999||Let the Devil Wear Black||Bruce|
|1999||Lexx (TV series)||Pa Gollean||"Love Grows"
|1999||Joan of Arc (TV miniseries)||Sir Robert de Baudricourt|
|1999||Mystery, Alaska||Bailey Pruitt|
|1999||Jacob Two Two Meets the Hooded Fang||Mr. Cooper/Louie Loser|
|1999||Made in Canada (TV series)||Captain McGee||"For the Children"|
|2000||What's Cooking?||Herbie Seelig|
|2000||The Golden Spiders: A Nero Wolfe Mystery (TV)||Nero Wolfe|
|2000||The Art of War||Frank Capella|
|2001||Plan B||Donald Rossi|
|2001||On Their Knees||Norman|
|2001–2002||A Nero Wolfe Mystery (TV series)||Nero Wolfe|
|2002||Crossed Over||Ethan Lowry|
|2002||Bleacher Bums||Scorekeeper Billy|
|2002||The Wet Season||Uncle Rick|
|2002||Tracey Ullman in the Trailer Tales||Dan Weisman|
|2003||Owning Mahowny||Frank Perlin|
|2003||Andromeda (TV)||Citizen Eight||"Pieces of Eight"|
|2004||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (TV series)||Joseph Greene/Joe Landers||"No More Bets"|
|2004||Intern Academy||Dr. Roger "Tony" Toussant|
|2004||The Eleventh Hour (TV series)||Dr. Jackson||"The Revenge Specialist"|
|2004||Being Julia||Walter Gibbs|
|2004||Wilby Wonderful||Mayor Brent Fisher|
|2004||Sex Traffic||Ernie Dwight|
|2005||Where the Truth Lies||Sally Sanmarco|
|2005||The Hunt for the BTK Killer||Robert Beattie|
|2005–2006||Stargate SG-1 (TV series)||Nerus||"Beachhead" (2005)
"Off the Grid" (2006)
|2005–2007||Entourage (TV series)||Harvey Weingard||"The Sundance Kids" (2005)
"Sorry, Harvey" (2007)
"The Cannes Kids" (2007)
|2006||Boston Legal (TV series)||Ryan Myerson||"Live Big"|
|2006||At the Hotel (TV series)||Jerry Mitchell||"The Perfect Couple" — Gemini Award|
|2006||Trailer Park Boys (TV series)||Chief of Police||"Gimme My Fuckin Money or Randy's Dead"|
|2006||Eureka (TV series)||Sheriff William Cobb||Pilot|
|2006||Heavens Fall||Lyle Harris|
|2006||It's a Boy Girl Thing||Stan Deane|
|2007||Superstorm (TV miniseries)||Senator Wallace|
|2007||Elijah||Premier Howard Pawley|
|2008||Hooked on Speedman||Dietrich Baum|
|2008||Murder on Her Mind||John Emory|
|2008–2010||Less Than Kind (TV series)||Sam Blecher||ACTRA Toronto Award|
|2009||Cooking with Stella||H. E. Mr. Durand|
|2010||Barney's Version||John Emory|
|2010||Casino Jack||Big Tony|
|2010||The Drunk and On Drugs Happy Fun Time Hour||Doctor Funtime|
|2010||Conduct Unbecoming||Col. Fox|
- Weber, Bruce, "Maury Chaykin, Character Actor, Dies at 61"; The New York Times, July 29, 2010
- Irving Chaykin death notice in The New York Times, April 1, 2007; Irving Chaykin memorial at Baruch College
- Clarice Chaykin Obituary in The New York Times, May 23, 2012
- Multicultural Canada, Canadian Jewish Review, April 12, 1946, p. 18
- George Bloomfield obituary, The Globe and Mail, May 16, 2011. George Bloomfield, Internet Movie Database (retrieved May 26, 2011). Bloomfield directed Chaykin in films including Riel, Double Negative, Nothing Personal and Jacob Two Two Meets the Hooded Fang. For television, Bloomfield directed Chaykin in episodes of Street Legal, La Femme Nikita, Emily of New Moon and A Nero Wolfe Mystery ("Murder Is Corny," "Poison à la Carte").
- "Award-winning actor was TV's 'Nero Wolfe'";The Washington Post, July 28, 2010. Posner, Michael, "Obituaries; Maury Alan Chaykin, 61." The Globe and Mail, July 31, 2010
- Weitzman, Elizabeth, "The Nominees for Hardest-Working Actor Are..."; The New York Times, March 12, 2000. "It's a rare show of vanity for an actor who specializes in particularly unsavory characters," Weitzman wrote.
- Zekas, Rita, "That's a Maury," Toronto Star, February 19, 2006. "I've been playing a character called Nerus on a few episodes of Stargate SG-1", Chaykin told the columnist. "The creator of the show is a big fan of Nero Wolfe. Nerus is a gourmand from a different planet."
- "Less Than Kind wins 3 Geminis". CBC News, November 13, 2010. Retrieved 2013-07-28.
- on YouTube; CBC Q video interview by Jian Ghomeshi, posted April 28, 2010
- Weber, Bruce, "Maury Chaykin, Character Actor, Dies at 61"; The New York Times, July 29, 2010
- Maury Chaykin at the Wayback Machine (archived December 4, 2008), Edna Talent Management Ltd., archived 2008-12-04 from the original at the Internet Archive. Retrieved 2013-12-14.
- "Tom Moore". Film Reference.com. Retrieved 2013-12-14.
- "Production history". Theatre for the New City. Retrieved 2013-12-14.
- "Director". Hrant Alianak official site. Retrieved 2013-12-14.
- "Ken Gass". Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2013-12-14.
- "Now that Summer's Here: a Brief History of Theatre Plus". Sonja Hermans, University of Guelph Library, 1988. Retrieved 2013-12-14.
- "BAM 150 Timeline" (PDF). Brooklyn Academy of Music. Retrieved 2013-12-14.
- Gussow, Mel, "Stage: Of TV Survivors, Clinics and Drug Addicts". The New York Times, April 4, 1979
- "Stage Review : Bill Irwin Proves 'A Man's A Man'". Sylvie Drake, Los Angeles Times, July 23, 1985. Retrieved 2013-12-14.
- Award shared with Caerthan Banks, Ian Holm, Sarah Polley, Tom McCamus, Stephanie Morgenstern, Gabrielle Rose and Alberta Watson
- ACTRA Award Revived in Honour of 60th Anniversary: Ten Award Nominees Announced by ACTRA Toronto (February 3, 2003); The ACTRA Awards in Toronto; retrieved 7-1-08
- Award shared with Benjamin Arthur, Jesse Camacho, Wendel Meldrum and Nancy Sorel; CBC News, October 2, 2009
- Nomination shared with Benjamin Arthur, Jesse Camacho, Wendel Meldrum, Brooke Palsson and Nancy Sorel; Canadian Comedy Awards & Festival nominees, retrieved July 28, 2010
- The 9th Annual ACTRA Awards in Toronto — 2011 Nominees Announced (January 12, 2011); retrieved 1-14-11. "ACTRA honours Chaykin and Wright with posthumous awards"; The Globe and Mail, retrieved 2-26-11