65 (passed away May. 27th, 1995)
Nov. 9th, 1929
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Severn Darden's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Severn Teakle Darden, Jr. (November 9, 1929 – May 27, 1995) was a comedian and actor, and an original member of The Second City Chicago-based comedy troupe as well as its predecessor, the Compass Players. He is probably best known in the film industry for playing the Himmler-like Kolp in the Planet of the Apes films.
Background Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, he attended the University of Chicago. Darden’s offbeat and intellectual sense of humor, appropriate for someone who attended the University of Chicago and in fact a major element in the style of The Second City at that time, is evident throughout his work.
One example of his offbeat humor is the way he squeezed the phrase "Know thyself" into the seven-character limitation of a New Mexico license plate: NOYOSEF.
Darden appeared in various movies and television series. His best performance is probably in the comedy The President's Analyst; there he has a major role as Kropotkin, a Soviet agent with a laid-back persona (much like Darden's own). An early film, "LUV" (1967) (based on the play of the same title by Murray Schisgal), in which he played a junk dealer, also starred Jack Lemmon, Peter Falk, Elaine May, and Nina Wayne.
He also played a stuffed shirt toy manufacturer in an episode of The Monkees, the cold-hearted Kolp in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and Battle for the Planet of the Apes, and a highly-respected, but befuddled college dean, in the 1985 comedy Real Genius.
In 1986, he was featured in the Off-Broadway improvisational sketch comedy show, Sills & Company, directed by Paul Sills.
After triple heart bypass surgery, he lived in semi-retirement in Los Angeles before moving to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1992. He died there of congestive heart failure at age 65.
Works Routines The Metaphysics Lecture This was ostensibly given by Prof. Walther von der Vogelweide, a reference to the famous medieval poet of the same name. An announcer introduces it as A Short Talk on the Universe, and then Darden continues: "Now, why — you will ask me — have I chosen to speak on the Universe, rather than some other topic. Well, it's very simple: there isn’t anything else!" The lecture is loaded with digressions.
- Nominated for the 1962 Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance in From the Second City.
- Was one of the original cast members of Second City in Chicago. Was responsible for shaping that theater's character in its early days.
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