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  • Flareup

  • The Mafu Cage

  • The Black Godfather

  • C.C. and Company

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Don Chastain Biography

  • Profession: Actor, Screenwriter
  • Born: Jan 1, 0001
  • Died: Aug 9, 2002

An Emmy-nominated actor-singer who built a foundation in Hollywood before relocating to Broadway, Don Chastain's work as an actor and charismatic jazz singer found the multifaceted talent often switching gears and wearing numerous hats. Born in Oklahoma City, Chastain moved to Hollywood in the late 1950s, and landed an early role as a singer on The Ed Sullivan Show. With his six-foot-plus height and powerful build, he was frequently cast as heavies and authority figures -- he was a menacing bounty hunter in the Big Valley episode "Image of Yesterday", a police detective in the Raquel Welch exploitation vehicle Flareup, and gave a chilling performance as a serial rapist/murderer masquerading as a police officer in an episode of Hawaii Five-O; during the early 1970's, he also rather wisely got cast in lighter roles, starting with his co-starring role as Debbie Reynolds' sportswriter husband on The Debbie Reynolds Show, where the writers were sometimes able to use his height against Reynolds diminutive, perky persona to comic effect; he also played a recurring character on the sitcom Rhoda. Making the move to the bright lights of Broadway, Chastain found further success while landing the lead in No Strings before cast in Parade and 42nd Street, among others. A popular soap opera actor in the 1980s and '90s, Chastain appeared in Another World, One Life to Live, and As the World Turns before landing roles in such popular television series as The West Wing and Murder in Small Town X. Chastain was less well known as a writer, but his credits in that capacity included the thriller The Mafu Cage, and he was twice nominated for Daytime Emmy Awards as a writer. As a singer, Chastain performed with Jon Hendricks and Count Basie's Band. In early August 2002, Don Chastain died of cancer in a Los Angeles hospital. He was 66. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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