Stanley Kamel, a veteran character actor who appeared most recently in the USA television network series "Monk" as detective Adrian Monk's psychiatrist, has died. He was 65.
Kamel was found dead of a heart attack Tuesday at his Los Angeles home by his longtime agents and friends Donna Massetti and Marilyn Szatmary, publicist Cynthia Snyder said Wednesday in a statement.
Often cast as unsavory characters in TV dramas, Kamel got attention as the suicidal Bruce Teller in the Fox prime-time soap "Melrose Place" in 1994, Dylan McKay's scheming father-in-law Tony Marchette in Fox's "Beverly Hills, 90210" in 1995 and creepy psychiatrist Dr. Graham Lester in the ABC crime series "Murder One" in 1995-96.
He also had a memorable role as Mark Gilliam, an activist attorney with AIDS, on "L.A. Law."
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Ed here: Mr. Kamel was one of the great pleasures of our favorite TV series, Monk. He played Monk's shrink--a thankless task--and he played him believably. Even Gabriel Byrne's great talent can't lift his HBO shrink out of the suds of the scripts: One Life To Live Goes Freudian. Kamel's shrink was professional, warm and sometimes agreeably frustrated with his difficult client. He was a small but vital part of the show's succes. So long, Mr. Kamel.
Last rainy night I was looking through some old books and found a copy of a 1960 Gold Medal called Take A Step To Murder by Day Keene. I hadn't intended to read it but I got hooked after two pages. I've got about thirty pages to go and what's remarkable is that its energy never lags. The reader (and writer) gets all his daily essential storytelling vitamins in one short book.
Back when I did my long piece on paperback writers I think I undervauled Keene. He wasn't of the first rank but in books like this he showed that he offered one thing many first-raters didn't--you didn't read his books, they assaulted you. He was in touch with his inner loser, he turned place description into character and he mananged to comment wittily on his times without slowing the story. Are you listening Travis McGee?
Much more of his work should be in print.