It’s with great sadness that the passing of another Studio City icon has taken place. R.G. Armstrong, a notable character actor and 50-year resident of Studio City, passed away July 27 in his sleep. He was 95.
Many of you may remember R.G., with his southern swagger, gracing numerous films and TV shows. In particular, he was known for his work with director Sam Peckinpah.
According to Wikipedia:
“Armstrong's first film appearance was in the 1954 film Garden of Eden. However, it was television where he first earned a name for himself. He guest-starred in virtually every TV Western produced in the 1950s and 1960s, including: Have Gun - Will Travel, The Californians, The Big Valley, The Rifleman, Zane Grey Theater, Wanted: Dead or Alive, The Westerner, Bonanza, Maverick, Gunsmoke, Rawhide and Wagon Train. He also appeared on The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Andy Griffith Show, The Fugitive, Perry Mason, T.H.E. Cat, Hawaii Five-O, Starsky and Hutch, The Dukes of Hazzard, and Dynasty. Armstrong had a recurring role in the second season of Millennium as a reclusive visionary known only as the Old Man. In the late 1980s, he played the demonic "Uncle Lewis Vendredi" in the Canadian horror series Friday the 13th: The Series.”
I remember R.G. as the father of two of our grammar school pals, Robbie and Daryl Armstrong. While growing up in Studio City and attending Carpenter, Walter Reed and NHHS, our lives were punctuated with visits to the Armstrong household, where R.G. was usually behind the scenes filming our childhood and adolescent antics. He always got us to mug for the camera. Those short films were gems—and a treasure to watch even today.
A few years ago, I again had the opportunity to visit with the Armstrong family. Although R.G.’s eyesight wasn’t very good, he still remembered our glory days as kids growing up in Studio City. His easy laugh made all those memories come back to life.
He was always a cool and groovy guy.
R.I.P. R.G. We will miss you.