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Pataki in 1974
|Born||January 16, 1938|
Youngstown, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||April 15, 2010 (aged 72)|
|Alma mater||University of Southern California|
|Occupation||Actor, Voice Actor|
Pataki was born in Youngstown, Ohio. His parents were Hungarian. He was the youngest of three children - one older brother and one older sister. He attended the University of Southern California with a double major in political science and drama. His career was launched at a summer stock festival in Edinburgh in 1966, with a review that read, "Michael Pataki went beyond the bounds of mere nationality in his tense and moving interpretation of Jerry in The Zoo Story". Pataki was so well loved that at a reception for the theatre group acclaimed English actor Laurence Harvey, whom Pataki had never met, said he was magnificent and gave him a kiss on the mouth.
Pataki had a co-starring role on the 1974-75 groundbreaking ABC-TV series Get Christie Love! playing Officer Pete Gallagher, Christie Love's bumbling but well-meaning sidekick with the dream to one day be a technical advisor on a TV cop show. Despite being the first detective TV series with an African American female lead, the characters of Christie and Pete rarely discussed race and just focused on watching out for each other and getting out of the trouble they often created for themselves.
Pataki appeared as a guest star in numerous television productions, from the black and white days of Hawaiian Eye, M Squad, The Twilight Zone, Ripcord, Combat! and My Favorite Martian, to early color shows such as The Flying Nun, All in the Family, Mr. Terrific, Garrison's Gorillas, Bonanza, Run for Your Life, Mission: Impossible, Mannix, Batman and Felony Squad. He was also a regular on Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers and The Amazing Spider-Man, and had a re-occurring role on McCloud as well. One of his most famous roles was as "Korax", the brash, loudmouthed Klingon who provoked the bar fight in "The Trouble with Tribbles" episode of Star Trek.
He also played Governor Karnas on the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Too Short a Season" and George Liquor in the episodes of The Ren & Stimpy Show entitled "Dog Show" and "Man's Best Friend"; he would continue playing the latter role in subsequent projects by John Kricfalusi up until his death, with his last appearance being in the posthumously released 2019 short Cans Without Labels. Pataki is one of the few actors that appeared on both Next Generation and Star Trek: The Original Series. On the original series, he played Klingon First Officer Korax in the episode "The Trouble with Tribbles". He was also the voice of The Cow in Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures, along with many other secondary characters. Pataki played a guest spot on Happy Days Season 4 as Myron "Count" Malachi, one half of the Malachi brothers. He was made famous on Happy Days for his line "Let the pigeons loose." He played a Russian defector in the episode "The Americanization of Ivan" in WKRP in Cincinnati.
Pataki's film credits included Airport '77 (1977), Spider-Man (1977), Love at First Bite (1979), The Onion Field (1979), Raise the Titanic (1980), Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985), and many others. He also appeared in Rocky IV (1985), as Nicoli Koloff, the sports administrator for the Soviet team and had a memorable moment in Ron Howard's Night Shift as a man who moons an entire courtroom.
Pataki has also had his fair share of B movie roles in titles such as The Last Porno Flick (1974), Carnal Madness a.k.a. Delinquent Schoolgirls (1975) with George Buck Flower and Colleen Brennan, and others. In Dracula's Dog (1977), he played opposite Reggie Nalder and José Ferrer as a descendant of Dracula who is being stalked by a vampiric Doberman Pinscher. His other horror titles included Grave of the Vampire (1972), The Baby (1973), Dead & Buried (1981) and Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988). He also directed Richard Basehart in Mansion of the Doomed (1976).
Pataki directed the 1977 film version of Cinderella. He also co-produced the filming of the stage presentation of Pippin with David Sheehan, starring William Katt. Pataki was also an accomplished voice over artist, playing the part of the Sewer King in an episode of Batman: The Animated Series. He was the voice of George Liquor for The Ren & Stimpy Show production house Spümcø until the company was fired by Nickelodeon in 1992, but briefly reprised his role for the character in the crowdfunded short Cans Without Labels, which was released in 2019, nine years after his death.
Pataki died from cancer on April 15, 2010 at the age of 72. He completed his recording for George Liquor for Cans Without Labels before his death and the short was dedicated to his memory.
- The Young Lions (1958) as Pvt. Hagstrom (uncredited)
- Ten North Frederick (1958) as Parking Lot Thug (uncredited)
- Easy Rider (1969) as Mime #4
- The Sidehackers (1969) as J.C.
- The Cut-Throats (1969) as German Sniper (uncredited)
- Dream No Evil (1970) as Rev. Paul Jessie Bundy
- The Andromeda Strain (1971) as Operator of 'The Hands' (uncredited)
- The Return of Count Yorga (1971) as Joe
- Brute Corps (1971) as MacFarlane
- The All American Hustler (1972) as Carol's Boyfriend (uncredited)
- Pink Angels (1972) as Biker
- Grave of the Vampire (1972) as Caleb Croft / Professor Lockwood
- The Dirt Gang (1972) as Snake
- The Black Bunch (1973) as Mr. Heinke
- The Baby (1973) as Dennis
- Sweet Jesus, Preacherman (1973) as State Senator Sills
- Little Cigars (1973) as Garage Mechanic
- Heterosexualis (1973) as Virgil
- Last Foxtrot in Burbank (1973) as Paul
- The Bat People (1974) as Sgt. Ward
- The Last Porno Flick (1974) as Ziggy
- Get Christie Love! (1974-75) as Sgt. Pete Gallagher
- Carnal Madness (1975) as Carl C. Clooney
- Airport '77 (1977) as Wilson
- Spider-Man (1977, TV Movie) as Captain Barbera
- Dracula's Dog (1977) as Michael Drake / Count Igor Dracula
- Jailbait Babysitter (1977) as Roger Warfield (uncredited)
- Spider-Man Strikes Back (1978) as Captain Barbera (voice)
- Superdome (1978, TV Movie) as Tony Sicota
- When Every Day Was the Fourth of July (1978, TV Movie) as Robert Najarian
- The Pirate (1978, TV Movie) as General Eshnev
- Love at First Bite (1979) as Mobster
- The Onion Field (1979) as Dist. Atty. Dino Fulgoni
- The Glove (1979) as Harry Iverson
- The Last Word (1979) as Dobbs
- Disaster on the Coastliner (1979, TV Movie) as Tate
- Up Yours (1979) as Virgil / Virgil's Father
- Raise the Titanic (1980) as Munk
- High Noon, Part II: The Return of Will Kane (1980, TV Movie) as Darold
- Graduation Day (1981) as Principal Guglione
- Dead and Buried (1981) as Sam
- Night Shift (1982) as Man Who Moons Courtroom (uncredited)
- Sweet Sixteen (1983) as George Martin
- One More Chance (1983) as Sam
- Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985) as Jim Wilson
- Rocky IV (1985) as Nicolai Koloff
- American Anthem (1986) as Coach Soranhoff
- The Underachievers (1987) as Murphy
- Death House (1987) as Franco Moretti
- Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) as Dr. Hoffman
- Hollywood Hot Tubs 2: Educating Crystal (1990) as Professor Drewton
- The Looking Glass (2003) as Frank
- Edge of Nowhere (2003) as Sheriff
- Trim (2010) as Dimitri
- Cans Without Labels (2019) as George Liquor (posthumous release)
- Obituary Los Angeles Times, May 5, 2010; page AA7.
- "Michael Pataki was George Liquor on Ren & Stimpy Archived 2012-07-09 at Archive.today". forum.bcdb.com, April 22, 2010