Delu­sional Don Juan su­per as sit­com su­per

Winnipeg Free Press - Section E - - ARTS & LIFE - By Kristin M. Hall

NEW YORK — Pat Har­ring­ton Jr., an ac­tor and co­me­dian who in the 1950s got at­ten­tion as a mem­ber of Steve Allen’s fa­bled TV comic troupe but se­cured last­ing fame decades later as Dwayne Schneider, the cocky handy­man on the long-run­ning sit­com One Day at a Time, has died.

Har­ring­ton died Wed­nes­day at age 86 in Los An­ge­les of com­pli­ca­tions from Alzheimer’s dis­ease, ac­cord­ing to his man­ager, Phil Brock.

One Day at a Time starred Bon­nie Franklin as a di­vorced mother of two teenage daugh­ters (played by Va­lerie Bertinelli and Macken­zie Phillips) who re­turns to her home­town of In­di­anapo­lis to be­gin life anew as a sin­gle woman.

In their apart­ment build­ing, they en­coun­tered su­per­in­ten­dent Dwayne Schneider, a com­i­cally self-styled ladies’ man who boasted a trim mous­tache, a tool belt and a gut pressed against his white T-shirt (en­abled by a large in­take of wa­ter by Har­ring­ton be­fore each episode tap­ing to give him­self the nec­es­sary paunch, he once dis­closed).

While Schneider ini­tially was mak­ing come-ons to the seem­ingly avail­able Ann Ro­mano, he soon be­came her pal and con­fi­dant, and a sur­ro­gate father to her girls, while win­ning laughs from view­ers for his imag­ined sex ap­peal to other women.

With his strong sup­port, the se­ries, from pro­lific pro­ducer Nor­man Lear, was a hit, air­ing on CBS from 1975 to 1984. The role brought him an Emmy award in 1984.

Har­ring­ton was born in 1929 in New York, the son of Pat Har­ring­ton Sr., a song-and-dance man in vaude­ville and on Broad­way.

The son dis­played a show-biz bent of his own, but more com­edy-in­clined. In the 1950s, he landed var­i­ous roles in TV com­edy, in­clud­ing a re­cur­ring part on the Danny Thomas sit­com, Make Room for Daddy, and as a sketch comic on The Steve Allen Ply­mouth Show.

In the 1960s and early ’70s, he had guest or re­cur­ring roles on such shows as The Mun­sters, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Owen Mar­shall, Coun­selor at Law, The Love Boat and Love, Amer­i­can Style He also had small roles in films in­clud­ing Easy Come, Easy Go star­ring Elvis Pres­ley and The Can­di­date with Robert Red­ford.

But his decade on One Day at a Time, which blended fam­ily com­edy with themes of emerg­ing women’s rights and youth re­bel­lion, sealed his legacy. He man­aged to make Schneider fool­ishly ma­cho yet lov­able — a tra­di­tional man con­stantly chal­lenged in the fem­i­nist age. (Har­ring­ton’s lead­ing lady, Franklin, died in 2013.)

With the end of that se­ries, Har­ring­ton kept work­ing, ap­pear­ing in such se­ries as Mur­der, She Wrote and Curb Your En­thu­si­asm. His last role was on Hot in Cleve­land in 2012.

Starred as Schneider

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