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Character actor John Finnegan has passed away. Known for his film work, as well as numerous appearances in the Peter Falk starring Columbo, the actor died last weekend at the age of 85.
The Hollywood Reporter shared the news, stating that Finnegan died in his home on Sunday, from pneumonia and complications of old age. Finnegan may not have achieved superstardom in film and television, but his contributions to the industry were plentiful over his multi-decade career, and his participation in various television and film projects attest to that.
In addition to playing the recurring role of Barney in Columbo, Finnegan's credits include The Natural, JFK and Big Trouble. He also voiced the role of the villainous conman - or technically, cat - Warren T. Rat in the 1986 animated film An American Tail. And among his relatively more recent credits, he was the dam tour guide giving the dam tour in National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation.
It's a brief but memorable scene, and when I saw that mention among his list of credits, I remembered it immediately. That appears to be one of the last credited roles he played. Other film appearances in the 90's included the part of Speaker of the House in Mars Attacks! and Watch Commander in Last Action Hero.
Our thoughts go out to his friends and family in their time of loss.