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Fred Gwynne's Death

Fred Gwynne

The life and death of Fred Gwynne:

His comedic talents led to roles ranging from Officer Francis Muldoon to Herman Munster to the prickly judge in "My Cousin Vinny". But he's well remembered for some dramatic roles too.

Frederick Hubbard Gwynne was born in New York City. His father, Frederick Senior, was a partner in a securities firm and his mother was the former Dorothy Ficken.

Fred Gwynne child hood photo

Fred grew up in Tuxedo Park, New York but - because his father often travelled – spent much of his childhood in South Carolina, Florida and Colorado.

And although it may be hard to believe from this photo…

Fred Gwynne, Herman Muenster

…Fred graduated from Harvard University, where he was involved in several campus activities, including President of the Harvard Lampoon.

He also served in the Navy during World War II.

Fred Gwynne in the Navy

His first big appearance in movies came as the thug called Slim, in the Marlon Brando hit "On the Waterfront".

Fred Gwynne in 'On The Waterfront'

And his work on TV's "Phil Silvers Show" led to a co-starring role in "Car 54, Where Are You?" opposite Joe E. Ross.

Six foot five Fred's next big role, perhaps his most famous, was as TV's Herman Muenster.

He always said he loved that character.

Later movie roles included the judge in "My Cousin Vinny", with Joe Pesci.

And he had another serious turn in Steven King's "Pet Sematary".

Fred was also a professional singer and painter and illustrated and wrote children's books.

He married Jean Reynard in 1952…

Fred Gwynne and Jean Reynard

…and they had three sons and two daughters but divorced in 1980. He married Deborah Flater in 1988 but Fred died in July, 1993 – just a few days shy of his 67th birthday of pancreatic cancer.

He's buried in an unmarked grave…

Fred Gwynne grave

…at Sandy Mount United Methodist Church Cemetery in Carroll County, Maryland.