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Studio City Actor R.G. Armstrong Dies

Although renowned in film and TV circles, I remember R.G. as the father of our grammar school pals.

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.

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Mary McGrath August 04, 2012 at 11:48 PM
RG's kids included Robbie, Daryl, Laurie and Wyn, I think that's how you spell it... If any of you want to contact Daryl or Robbie, send me your email addresses/phone #s and I'll forward it to them.....
Mary McGrath August 04, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Those names don't ring a bell...I graduated from NHHS in 1971.
Steve Strickland December 22, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Mary, I am the son of Nina Strickland. She and my dad, Ed, went to Howard College in Birmingham, Ala. with RG. Mom could tell some really interesting tales of their doings at the old Howard campus. RG would send mom and dad a Christmas card every year up until about 10 years ago. We actually visited his home in Studio City some time in the 60s I believe it was. He scared the heck out of me with his gruff voice but his kind hand was very relieving. Mom died this past Oct. 26. We had talked about RG just a few weeks before her death. We found many photos RG signed for mom. RG, a very gentile giant. Find me on FaceBook. Steve Strickland, Meridian, Idaho.
teresa mcgrath December 22, 2012 at 05:46 PM
steve strickland, such kind words of r.g.....i bet the stories are exceptional....happy holidays....
teresa mcgrath December 22, 2012 at 05:47 PM
and sorry for your mom's passing too...it's tough...

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