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.

Click here for more information.

Kristina Hope July 29, 2012 at 07:56 PM
I knew R.G. a number of years ago when a bunch of us would meet once a week or so to play pool at a director friend's house, Steve Carpenter, out in Malibu Canyon. He was the sweetest man, always with a story to tell. After we stopped doing that, I would run into him around town once in awhile, and we would stop and chat to catch up. I haven't seen him around for awhile, and always wondered how he was. I am so sorry to see him go. He was a sweet, gentle man. He will be missed. Kristina Hope, Studio City
Jock July 29, 2012 at 09:20 PM
I had the good fortune of "Hanging" with RG a few times too. One of those timeless guys who though old enough to be your dad was totally one of the cats. I am glad he had such a long run. He could act too. He was pretty scary in that movie "Stay Hungry" (early Jeff Bridges Und Ahhnald). I remember him fondly
Mary McGrath July 29, 2012 at 09:35 PM
I'm sure R.G.'s family will appreciate these kind words Kristina.
Mary McGrath July 29, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Even when I was a teenager, he always struck me as such a cool guy, very contemporary, and very unlike most parents I knew.
Sandy G. July 29, 2012 at 10:53 PM
For Robbie, I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your dad. I remember many times during our Carpenter years, playing at your house in your dad's "office." I am not sure if we were supposed to be there / actually we were probably not supposed to be there looking through his magazines. My recollections were that we spent quite some time down there. All of my best, Sandy G.
Mary McGrath July 29, 2012 at 10:57 PM
I don't recall "the office," but I'm sure it must have been a fun escape Sandy. I'd love to see those movies that R.G. made at Robbie's birthday parties. I saw them several years ago, and they were quite amusing.
teresa mcgrath July 30, 2012 at 01:39 PM
r.i.p. rg...as mary pointed out, he was the most creative dad one could have...we would visit robbie and daryl in the basement, where our first exposure to his specialty magazines were...mary, that was the office....both robbie's/daryl's mom and dad were very cool, and art, music, and acting were strongly encouraged....the famous childhood parties boasted r.g. behind the camera capturing our innocence...his booming southern voice, humor, wisdom, and acting chops framed a talented wonderful man...the films i recall most were raggedy man with sissy spacek, dick tracy, and all the tv roles he played....it was nice to receive updates through the years from both robbie and daryl on how r.g. was doing...he will be missed...
Mary McGrath July 30, 2012 at 01:45 PM
I sort of remember "the office"....We always had a blast there, and I think that house was where I first tried pot, in Robbie's room? I don't think anything happened that first time though...He was a charming man, very contemporary.
teresa mcgrath July 30, 2012 at 01:49 PM
after you climbed the steep driveway, you go thru the sliding glass door...pot and many other timely excursions that colored our childhood/adolescense...very memorable
Mary McGrath July 30, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Oh right, now I remember that room! Wasn't it sort of a library also?
Kate Arnesen August 01, 2012 at 02:50 PM
So sad to hear this news of your dads passing Daryl. This is Kathleen, Bonnie Walters daughter. I've looked and looked to contact you. Please let me know info so I can attend the memorial and see you.
teresa mcgrath August 01, 2012 at 03:33 PM
i believe it was a library too
Mary McGrath August 01, 2012 at 04:53 PM
I hope you're able to reconnect Kate. Best of luck to you...
Carol Treacy August 02, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Daryl, So sorry to hear about your dad. I went to Carpenter Ave. with you. You were the first vegetarian I ever met (I'm a vegan now). I would love to re-connect, even if it's just catching up. My maiden name is Carol Slutzky. I'm on facebook as Carol Treacy, Petaluma, CA. Hope to hear from you!
Linda Brown August 02, 2012 at 09:29 PM
My brother, David Brown, and I (Linda Brown) knew Mr. Armstrong when he would come back to Alabama to visit his parents. My father, Albert Brown, and his father were good friends. When he would be home for a visit, his father would call my father and tell him to bring us down. Mr. Armstrong taught us the fast draw and other gun tricks and really take time with us. Whenever we saw him on TV we would call his parents so they could watch him. He really was a great actor and man. RIP Mr. Armstrong...Linda and David Brown
Mary McGrath August 02, 2012 at 10:45 PM
If you guys send me your email addresses and phone #s, I will forward them to Daryl. I don't know if she goes on this site much...Glad to hear your stories too!
teresa mcgrath August 03, 2012 at 01:47 PM
she doesn't have an online connection mary...i'd email the info to robbie
Mary McGrath August 03, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Daryl's internet is being turned off August 8th...
teresa mcgrath August 03, 2012 at 01:55 PM
thx for the info
bj mitchell August 04, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Mary..this brenda winchell and we lived down the hil fro the armstrongs on carpenter place.both my kids were really closewith wes and laurie..i dont know exactly whom robbie and daryl are..wes was at all are parties and everyone in the neighbor liked him very much.his farther rj was really nice to the kids..why do i have different names...Wes used to go down to our donut store in studio city .winchells and get some donuts all the time..maybe you can help me,,sincerely breda winchell
bj mitchell August 04, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Im sorry I dont use computer too much and made a couple mistakes..his name was R.G..not rj..my name is brenda winchell and Natalie winchell...they all went to all the same schools. tntagt1@al.com is my mail
bj mitchell August 04, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Oh ill have to ask my son about the library /office...my son painted our pool black and the boys would skateboard in the pool..that was a time we didnt have to worry about lawsuits....I always got a kick when i would see R.G in movies..he was such a great character actor..i read about his acting history and i was surprised that he had started so young and has been on broadway..his children should have been so proud of his longevity in that business
bj mitchell August 04, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Mary did you go to school with Rhett and natalie winchell..or Michael goodrich
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...


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something