Close Encounters of the Third Kind
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Credit: Columbia Pictures

Gene Dynarski, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and X-Files actor, dies at 86

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Apr 26, 2020, 6:13 PM EDT (Updated)

Gene Dynarski, an actor known for character roles in Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Chris Carter's The X-Files, has died at the age of 86. Per The Hollywood Reporter, which first broke the news, he passed away on Feb. 27 in a rehabilitation center in Studio City, Los Angeles. The announcement is said to have been made by playwright Ernest Kearney.

Dynarski's working relationship with Steven Spielberg began with the TV movie Duel in 1971, four years before the director became a global icon with the release of Jaws. In Duel, the story of a man (Dennis Weaver) chased by a malevolent truck, Dynarski played an unnamed café patron.

Six years later, the actor reunited with Spielberg for the filmmaker's optimistic alien flick, Close Encounters. Here he played Ike, the supervisor of protagonist Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss), who sends the character out on a job that first exposes him to the mysterious light and power of UFOs.

Dynarski and Drefuss are pictured (R-L) in the photo below.

Credit: Columbia Pictures

Born in Brooklyn in September of 1933, Dynarski worked at a bowling alley and served in the U.S. Navy before moving to California in order to pursue a career in acting. He hit the small screen in the early-to-mid-1960s, enjoying roles on iconic programs such as Batman '66, Mission: ImpossibleVoyage to the Bottom of the Sea, and Star Trek: The Original Series. His contribution to the Batman mythos was serving as Benedict, a henchperson to Vincent Price's Egghead.

More of Dynarski's genre bona fides include: Land of the Giants, Kung Fu, The Invisible Man (the TV show adaptation from the late '70s), Star Trek: The Next Generation, and, as mentioned above, The X-Files. His brush with Mulder and Scully arrived in the Season 8 episode "Patience," where the famous FBI duo investigates the case of a humanoid bat creature. Released in November of 2000, the episode marked Dynarski's penultimate role as an actor.

The actor is survived by his two daughters.

(Certain information via IMDb.)


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