TV Acting Legend Richard 'Dick' Evans Dead at 86

TV legend Richard "Dick" Evans passed away early in October, according to a recent report by The Hollywood Reporter. Evans' career in entertainment spanned four decades before he retired to a quiet getaway with his family. He was 86 years old, and he died of an undisclosed form of cancer.

Evans' name was in the credits of some of the 20th century's most emblematic shows, including Peyton Place where he played the character Paul Hanley — rival of Rodney Harrington (Ryan O'Neal). On the strength of htat performance, Evans went on to appear in one of the most beloved episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series and in Jack L. Warner's final film Dirty Little Billy. Later on, Evans would try his hand at directing, writing and other creative outlets. His most notable work as a director was the 2004 film Harry Monument. 

Evans was born in Kansas City, Missouri in January of 1935, and pursued an eclectic career in the arts over the years. He first appeared on TV in 1958 on an episode of The Lineup, and got his first two-episode role the following year on Sugarfoot. He continued to climb the ranks over the years with notable titles like Perry Mason, Gunsmoke and Empire on his resume.

Aside from Peyton Place, the show that put Evans on the map was arguably Gunsmoke, where he made four appearances between 1960 and 1967. He played a different character each time, however, including three different men in three consecutive seasons.

Evans played Isak on Star Trek: The Original Series in the seminal episode "Patterns of Force," which premiered in 1968. In it, the crew of the Enterprise discovered a world where a Federation cultural observer had steered a human-like species' development to mirror that of Nazi Germany on Earth. Isak was one of the resistance fighters against the fascist regime, teaming up with the crew of the Enterprise to bring them down.


Off-screen, Evans wrote, directed and produced for theatrical productions at various local venues, and was also an author and an artist. His final book was a collection of short plays which could be staged without rental fees so long as the proceeds went to help homeless people. It was published shortly before Evans' passing.

Evans' family noted that he left L.A. and settled in Washington 32 years ago. He is survived by Jo Evans, his wife of 68 years, as well as their son Paul and their granddaughters Sarah, Madalyn and Rachel.