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Actor Darren McGavin, Former Westporter, Dies at 83

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Darren McGavin: former Old Mill resident. File photo
Film and television actor Darren McGavin, a former Westporter who got involved in a dispute with town officials over the height of his Old Mill home, died Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 83.

McGavin appeared on many television series and shows and set a standard for cynical and hard-boiled gruffness as a reporter in “The Night Stalker” and a detective in “Mike Hammer.”

McGain lived in Westport in the 1960s and is remembered by longtime residents for the zoning fight he had with the town over adding an extra story to his house on Old Mill Beach.  It is still the tallest house in the area.

McGavin, who is survived by four children, perhaps had his most memorable role as the grouchy father in the film “A Christmas Story,” originally released in 1983, but a television staple on holidays ever since.

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