In Memoriam: Donald Moffat (1930-2018)
Donald Moffat, most remembered for his film roles in The Thing and Clear and Present Danger, died last week just days from his eighty-eighth birthday from complications due to a stroke.
Born in Plymouth, England on December 26th, 1930, Moffat trained at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London England after a two-year stint in the military. Initially a stage actor with the Old Vic Theatre company in London, the actor would eventually move to Oregon in 1956 and become a bartender and a lumberjack for a brief time before moving to the East Coast. Stage acting would remain a staple for the rest of Morrow’s life as he earned two Tony nominations in 1967 for Henrik Ibsen’s The Wild Duck and Pirandello’s Right You Are If You Think You Are. Donald Moffat would later go on to star opposite Jason Robards in 1986’s stage production of The Iceman Cometh.
Aside from stage acting, Donald Moffat had a film and television career that spanned six decades beginning with an uncredited role in 1956’s The Battle of River Plate. Over the years Moffat would appear in such films as The Terminal Man, The Right Stuff, The Bonfire of the Vanities, and Regarding Henry. Moffat was also no stranger to television appearing in several TV shows that ranged the gamut, everything from Rod Serling’s Night Gallery to The West Wing. His last feature film was 1999’s Cookie’s Fortune. He retired from acting in 2005.
Moffat is survived by his wife of almost fifty years, director and actress Gwen Arner. He leaves behind four daughters, ten grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
I will always remember Donald Moffat fondly as the station director Garry from director John Carpenter’s 1982 film The Thing. Moffat was a fantastic character actor who never became a leading man but clearly thrived on the stage, starring in over 80 plays. Rest in peace Mr. Moffat. You’ll be missed.