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CANCER CLAIMS LIFE OF ACTOR FRED GWYNNE

SHARE CANCER CLAIMS LIFE OF ACTOR FRED GWYNNE

Fred Gwynne shared the Broadway stage with Helen Hayes, did Shakespeare and Tennessee Williams, earned accolades for his movie roles. But to millions, he'll always be Herman Munster.

Gwynne, 66, died Friday at his farm in Taneytown, 40 miles northwest of Baltimore. He had suffered pancreatic cancer."Fred will be remembered for giving us all so many hours of laughter and enjoyment with his characterizations," said Joe Pesci, who played the smart-aleck Brooklyn lawyer to Gwynne's sly Southern judge in the movie "My Cousin Vinny."

The film's director, Jonathan Lynn, said he chose Gwynne because "there was nobody else who could give it the same qualities of intelligence and impeccable timing, and weight and strength. It's very hard to find people with that amount of screen presence that are truly funny."

Frederick Hubbard Gwynne was born July 10, 1926, in New York City, the son of a stockbroker. He served in the Navy during World War II and graduated from Harvard in 1951.

Gwynne began his career with the Broadway production of "Mrs. McThing" with Miss Hayes in 1952 and went on to alternate among stage, screen and television for the next 40 years.