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"You're my boy, Blue." Tis a sad day.....


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'Patrick' Cranshaw, 86, character actor Dies

 

Joseph "Patrick" Cranshaw, a veteran character actor who unexpectedly attained pop-culture status playing "Blue," the elderly fraternity brother in the hit comedy "Old School," has died. He was 86.

Cranshaw died of natural causes Wednesday at his home in Fort Worth, Texas, said his personal manager, Jeff Ross.

After launching his screen career in 1955 playing a bartender at a dance in the western "Texas Lady," Cranshaw played everything from a bank teller in "Bonnie and Clyde" to a hobo in "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" to the demolition derby owner in "Herbie: Fully Loaded."

But Cranshaw was well into his 80s when he was cast in the small part that gave him the kind of public recognition rarely afforded to a low-in-the-credits character actor: his scenes-stealing role as white-haired and bearded Joseph "Blue" Palasky in "Old School," directed by Todd Phillips and starring Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn.

In one of his key scenes, a long-johns-clad Blue is supposed to mud-wrestle with two topless girls, but he never gets a chance to get down and dirty: He looks at them and is so excited that he keels over dead an apparent heart attack.

Ferrell's character delivers the eulogy for Blue, who is seen with angel wings in the closing credits, playing a piano and singing "Dust in the Wind."

After the movie's release, Cranshaw was frequently recognized by fans of the film, who couldn't resist calling out Ferrell's signature line, "You're my boy, Blue."

Cranshaw also was invited to meet with the Texas Rangers when they were playing the Angels in Anaheim, Calif.

"A lot of the ballplayers loved that movie," said Ross, who accompanied Cranshaw to the stadium. "When we got there, the Angels wanted him to come to their locker room, too."

Born in Bartlesville, Okla., in 1919, Cranshaw became interested in acting while entertaining the troops with the Army Air Forces during World War II.

In addition to small parts in films such as "Bandolero," "Best in Show" and "The Hudsucker Proxy," Cranshaw appeared frequently on television and had recurring roles on "Alice," "Mork & Mindy," "The Ted Knight Show," "Dukes of Hazzard" and other series.

Cranshaw had recently returned home to Fort Worth after shooting the movie "Air Buddies," due for release in 2006.

Survivors include his children, Jan Ragland, Joe Cranshaw and Beverly Trautschold; his sister, Billie Vi Gillespie; six grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

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