Stephen M. Silverman
January 02, 2006 08:00 AM

The New Year began on a sad note in some quarters, with the deaths of veteran character actor Patrick Cranshaw, who achieved cult-like status as elderly but frisky fraternity brother “Blue” in the 2003 comedy Old School, and actor and comedian Richard De Angelis, who played Baltimore police Col. Raymond Foerster on the HBO crime drama The Wire.

Cranshaw, 86, died of natural causes Wednesday at his home in Fort Worth, Texas, his personal manager, Jeff Ross, told the Los Angeles Times. The Oklahoma native’s roles spanned that of the put-upon bank teller in 1967’s Bonnie and Clyde to a demolition derby owner in last year’s Herbie: Fully Loaded. Other credits included Bandolero (1968), Best in Show (2000) and The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), as well as TV’s Mork & Mindy and The Dukes of Hazzard, reports the Associated Press.

He is survived by three children, Jan Ragland, Joe Cranshaw and Beverly Trautschold.

De Angelis, 73, died of congestive heart failure Dec. 28 at his home in Silver Spring, Md., said his son, Richard M. De Angelis. He also had complications from prostate cancer.

In addition to his recurring role on The Wire, the Boston native, whose career spanned four decades, appeared in Homicide: The Movie and the John Waters movies A Dirty Shame and Cecil B. Demented.

De Angelis also appeared in plays, TV commercials, radio spots and print advertisements in an acting career that spanned four decades. He performed standup comedy for many years under the name Ricky Roach.

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