Cliff Emmich, ‘Little House on the Prairie’ and ‘Payday’ actor, dead at 85

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Cliff Emmich, ‘Little House on the Prairie’ and ‘Thunderbolt and Lightfoot’ actor, has passed away. He turned 85.

A representative for Emmich confirmed his death to Fox News Digital and said the actor was suffering from a health battle.

“My client and friend, for more than 50 years, lost his battle with lung cancer… He passed away Monday at his home in Valley Village,” his representative said in a statement.

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The funny actor was born in 1936 in Cincinnati, Ohio, and grew up in Los Angeles, California.

Cliff Emmich, ‘Little House on the Prairie’ and ‘Thunderbolt and Lightfoot’ actor, has passed away. He turned 85.
(Getty Images)

He is named after his father Clifford, who was a popular exotic car dealer and had elite Hollywood clients including Clark Gable, Gary Cooper and Ozzie Nelson.

After graduating with the class of 1955 from John Muir High School, he went on to serve as a photo technician in the Air Force.

Emmich went on to study at the Pasadena Playhouse and then tour the country with the American Repertory Players. He spent a summer performing at the Pink Garter Theater in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

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Cliff Emmich also played a counterfeiter named Van "The Candy Man" during a two part "Happy Days" episode titled "Funnie's Funeral" in 1979.

Cliff Emmich additionally played a counterfeiter named “The Candy Man” on a two-part “Happy Days” episode titled “Fonzie’s Funeral” in 1979.
(Getty Images)

The actor has appeared in more than 90 films and television shows during his career and made his film debut in 1969’s ‘Gaily, Gaily’.

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He was best known for his role in “Payday”, playing the character Chicago, the driver of a Cadillac sedan with Rip Torn’s honky tonk singer Maury Dann in the backseat, in the 1973 film.

During the fifth season of "Little House on the Prairie," Michael Landon wrote a role especially for Emmich.  It was reportedly one of his favorite roles he has played.

During the fifth season of ‘Little House on the Prairie,’ Michael Landon wrote a role especially for Emmich. It was reportedly one of his favorite roles he has played.
(Getty Images)

In the 1974 film “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot,” Emmich appeared as a Western Union security guard, alongside his costars Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges.

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Emmich continued to play the role of another security guard in “Halloween II” in 1981.

He also played a counterfeiter named “The Candy Man” on a two-part “Happy Days” episode titled “Fonzie’s Funeral” in 1979.

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During the fifth season of “Little House on the Prairie,” Michael Landon wrote a role especially for Emmich. He played a shy and embarrassed middle-aged character whose daughter was ashamed of him in the episode “The Man Inside”. It was reportedly one of his favorite roles he has played.

The beloved actor has also appeared in movies and TV shows, including “Barracuda,” “Starsky and Hutch,” “Murder, She Wrote,” and “Walker, Texas Ranger.”

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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