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Harve Presnell (14 September 193330 June 2009; age 75) was an American actor who played Colonel Q in the Star Trek: Voyager third season episode "The Q and the Grey".

Early life and early career[]

Presnell was born George Harvey Presnell in Modesto, California. He graduated from Modesto High School in 1950 and later attended the University of Southern California. [1] [2] Trained as an opera singer, Presnell was cast in the Broadway musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown in 1960, in which he played Johnny "Leadville" Brown, a role which composer and lyricist Meredith Wilson wrote specifically for Presnell. Presnell reprised this role for MGM's film version of the musical in 1964, which marked his debut in that medium. The next year, Presnell won the Golden Globe as Most Promising Male Newcomer (which he shared with George Segal and Chaim Topol).

Following his success with The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Presnell starred in the 1965 western film The Glory Guys, along with Laurel Goodwin and Michael Forest. He then appeared in the 1969 film version of the musical Paint Your Wagon, which also featured Ray Walston, William O'Connell, Robert Easton, Karl Bruck, and Roy Jenson. Paint Your Wagon was a box office flop, and Presnell subsequently took a leave of absence from films that lasted over 25 years. He instead returned to the stage, performing in summer stock and on tour. In 1979, he landed the role of Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks in the Broadway musical Annie. (The role was later played by Keene Curtis and John Schuck.) In 1984, he appeared in two episodes of the soap opera Ryan's Hope, along with Corbin Bernsen.

Return to film and television[]


Presnell returned to feature films in 1995 with a supporting role in Fargo (1996). His role in this film as Wade Gustafson, the overbearing father-in-law of William H. Macy's character, is perhaps Presnell's most well-known. Presnell's fellow Voyager guest actor John Carroll Lynch also had a role in this film.

After Fargo, Presnell had supporting roles in over fifteen films. He played Victor Lazzaro in Face/Off (1997, featuring John Carroll Lynch and Robert Wisdom). He also had a supporting role opposite Christian Slater in the 1997 comedy Julian Po and appeared as General George C. Marshall in Saving Private Ryan (1998). Leland Orser also appeared in the latter film, while John de Lancie had a voice-over role. Presnell then had a supporting role in Patch Adams (1998, starring Robin Williams, with Bob Gunton, Richard Kiley and Randy Oglesby).

Presnell appeared in several popular, high-profile films over the next ten years, including The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000, with Bruce McGill), The Family Man (2000, with Saul Rubinek), Mr. Deeds (2002, with Winona Ryder, Erick Avari and Bruce French), Old School (2003, with Andy Dick and Terry O'Quinn), Flags of Our Fathers (2006, with Len Cariou, David Clennon, Gordon Clapp and Neal McDonough), and Evan Almighty (2007, with Jimmy Bennett, Bruce Gray, and Rachael Harris). His last film was the comedy Bait Shop with Richard Riehle, which was released direct-to-DVD in 2008.


In addition to his film work, Presnell also became more active in television in 1995. From 1995 through 1997, he appeared in several episodes of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, in which he played the recurring role of Dr. Sam Lane. His character was the father of Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane, played on the show by Teri Hatcher. K Callan was a regular cast member, as well, playing Martha Kent.

Between 1997 and 2000, Presnell played the recurring role of Mr. Parker in The Pretender (1997-2000). He reprised the role of Mr. Parker for two made-for-TV movies: The Pretender 2001 and The Pretender: Island of the Haunted. He also played Arthur Brooks in many episodes of Dawson's Creek (2000-01) and starred in the short-lived NBC series Andy Barker, P.I. (2007).

Presnell appeared on several other television series, including EZ Streets (with Gregg Henry), Players (with Gregory Itzin and Mike Starr), and Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place (with David Ogden Stiers). In 2003, he guest-starred in an episode of Frasier, working with Kelsey Grammer and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Nana Visitor. Later that year Presnell worked with Norman Lloyd in an episode of The Practice and co-starred with Steven Culp and Robert Picardo in an episode of The Lyon's Den. Presnell later appeared on Monk with Stanley Kamel and ER with Scott Grimes.

In addition to his work on episodic television, Presnell had supporting roles in several made-for-TV movies. Among his TV movie credits are 1997's The Guardian (with Stephanie Niznik and Brian Thompson), Tidal Wave: No Escape (working again with fellow Trek alumni Corbin Bernsen and Gregg Henry), A Bright Shining Lie (with Ed Lauter, Richard Libertini, and Kurtwood Smith), Everything That Rises (his first work with Bruce McGill, whom he later worked with in the film The Legend of Bagger Vance), and Jackie, Ethel, Joan: The Women of Camelot (with Daniel Hugh Kelly).

Presnell died of pancreatic cancer at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica. He was remembered in the "In Memoriam" section at the 16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on 23 January 2010.

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