Friday, September 15, 2006


Pat Corley (1930-2006)

For most people, Pat Corley always will be Phil, the barkeep on Murphy Brown who seemed to know just about everything about anyone in Washington. As great as he was as Phil, to me another performance of his always stood taller — that as the coroner Wally Nydorf, stressed beyond the point of competence, on the great Hill Street Blues. That was my first exposure to the actor and I remember Wally — especially his great scenes with Daniel J. Travanti — to this date.

I also recall another character by Corley in a Steven Bochco work — as the coach in the short-lived Bay City Blues. He also turned in a memorable performance as a dying hit man trying to best an up-and-comer in an early episode of Moonlighting.

While he did appear in a handful of feature films, most of his work was confined to episodic television and he always turned in a good performance and made an impression.

Rest in peace, Pat Corley.

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Bay City Blues was one of my favorite shows. So underappreciated. Corley was a great, great actor.
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