Prolific character actor Don Calfa has died at the age of 76, according to the Associated Press. Calfa’s publicist said the Returning of the Living Dead star died Thursday in Palm Springs of natural causes.
The Brooklyn-born Calfa appeared in an impressive array of films from Martin Scorsese’s New York, New York to Steven Spielberg’s 1941 to the comedy hit Weekend at Bernie’s. He could also claim a raft of small screen credits, including Barney Miller and Kojak. But Calfa will be best remembered by horror fans for his portrayal of mortician Ernie Kaltenbrunner in director Dan O’Bannon’s beloved cult classic zombie film, The Return of the Living Dead.
Calfa’s Return of the Living Dead costar Linnea Quigley paid tribute to the actor earlier today on Twitter. “Had the pleasure of working with Don Calfa on ROTLD & Treasure of the Moon Goddess,” Quigley wrote. “We adored him. He was an amazing man & will be missed.”