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Slap Shot's Dr. Hook Actor Was 76; Also in “The Deer Hunter”

Slap Shot's Dr. Hook Actor Was 76;  Also in “The Deer Hunter”

 


Paul D'Amato, the actor who played the gloriously vicious Tim “Dr. Hook” McCracken opposite Paul Newman in Slap shot, died Monday after a long battle with progressive supranuclear palsy, a rare brain disease similar to Parkinson's disease. D'Amato was 76 years old.

The news was shared online by his longtime partner (and fellow actress) Marina Re.

D'Amato got the role in Slap shot partly because he could hold his own on the ice. He played college hockey at Emerson and also for a team called The Reds in a league in Burlington, Vermont, in 1975.

But D'Amato was also present on screen, facing off against Newman as his character's nemesis from the Syracuse Bulldogs, who earned his nickname thanks to his scalpel skills with a hockey stick. Newman's Reggie Dunlop called McCracken by name during a pregame radio interview, calling him the team's “punk captain and leader.”

Of his first scene with Newman, in which he insults the screen legend's character, D'Amato said: “I was very nervous and excited at the same time. The scene was pretty simple and straightforward, and I realized that being nervous was no excuse. So, as James Cagney would have it, I planted my feet, looked him straight in the eye, and told him what I thought of him. …It worked out pretty well, butterflies and all.

He recalled in a 2007 interview that Dr. Hook “was a cross between Dave Schultz [who holds the NHL single-season record for penalty minutes]Bobby Schmautz [called “the worst stickwork offender in the game” by ex-NHL player and ref Paul Stewart] and the shark in Jaws.”

D'Amato's other notable credits include that of Michael Cimino The deer hunter and notorious The Gate of Heaven as well as F/X and that of Warren Beatty Heaven can wait. He also had a little in part – his first role on screen – opposite Clint Eastwood in Magnum Force.

On the small screen, he plays another hockey player in The deadliest season and also appeared on Tthe man worth six million, American theater, Law and order and more recently on ABC The Unusuals in 2009.

D'Amato's Slap shot co-star Steve Carlson, who had his own memorable turn in the film as Steve Hanson of the Hanson Brothers, remembered D'Amato on X yesterday:

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://deadline.com/2024/02/paul-damato-dead-slapshot-dr-hook-actor-1235833438/

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