Michael Pataki

Michael Pataki (January 16, 1938 – April 15, 2010) was an American character actor and voice actor.[1]

Michael Pataki
Michael Pataki 1974.jpg
Pataki in 1974
Born(1938-01-16)January 16, 1938
DiedApril 15, 2010(2010-04-15) (aged 72)
Alma materUniversity of Southern California
OccupationActor, Voice Actor
Years active1958–2010

Early lifeEdit

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".[citation needed] 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.

Television careerEdit

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.

Film careerEdit

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).

Other workEdit

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.[2][3]

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[4] and the short was dedicated to his memory.

Selected filmographyEdit


External linksEdit