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Warren Oates – MovieActors.com

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Oates in Stripes.

About Warren Oates (1928 – 1982)
Warren Oates was born on July 5, 1928 in the tiny town of Depoy, Kentucky. He was a character actor who specialized in eccentric roles.

In 1954 he moved to New York, after college at the University of Kentucky at Louisville and a tour in the Marines. A veteran actor of 121 projects, Warren Oates worked in the '50s and '60s on popular television shows, including Playhouse 90, Wagon Train, Have Gun Will Travel, Laramie, Bat Masterson, The Rifleman, Bonanza, The Rifleman, 77 Sunset Strip, Combat, The Twilight Zone, The Fugitive, Lost in Space, Rawhide, Gunsmoke and The Big Valley.

In the 1967 crime drama, In the Heat of the Night, he played Patrolman Wood, who falls under suspicion of murder, after he himself discovers a body, in a small Mississippi town. Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger starred in the production, which won 5 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Actor (for Steiger) and was nominated for two more.

Warren Oates next played a bad guy gang member in the 1969 Sam Peckinpah Western gore-fest, The Wild Bunch, controversial because of its high level of violence for its time. He was regularly cast by Peckinpah's films, including the 1962 Ride the High Country.

He next came to notice as the disapproving father in the 1973 Terrance Malick film, Badlands, the true story of a young couple on a murder spree in the '50s, played by Sissy Spacek and Martin Sheen. Sheen's character killed 11 people in a matter of a few days, starting with the murder of her family.

Finally, Oates distinguished himself as the tough drill sergeant in the 1981 comedy Stripes, about two dopey volunteers who get themselves into big trouble, starring Bill Murray.

Warren Oates's notable movie credits include...

tough enough (1983)
blue thunder (1983)
stripes (1981)
sleeping dogs (1977)
the thief who came to dinner (1973)
dillinger (1973)
the wild bunch (1969)
in the heat of the night (1967)
hero's island (1962)

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Warren Oates in Blue Thunder (1983).

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Warren Oates in The Wild Bunch (1969).

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Warren Oates in Stripes.