Actor Kevin McCarthy, who turned in a very memorable performance as the frantic doctor in the 1956 horror science fiction film, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, has died at the age of 96. McCarthy's sheer skill as an actor helped to elevate this film to the top tier of great 1950's science fiction and horror movies. One of McCarthy's frantic outbursts of "You're next!" was permanently cemented in audience minds as one one the greatest horror/Sci Fi film catch phrases of all time. It was a great film, just shy of being excellent. It was Kevin McCarthy's great acting that made this film a classic.
McCarthy had actually started acting in 1938, however by 1944 he was featured in films such as 1944's WINGED VICTORY. In 1951, McCarthy was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actor for an excellent performance in DEATH OF A SALESMAN. In a 1978 remake of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, McCarthy made a cameo appearance. But his reputation from his outstanding performance in the 1956 film helped to land him roles in THE HOWLING(1981) and TWILIGHT ZONE:THE MOVIE in 1983. Weird Al invited him to do a little role in his UHF as well.
McCarthy's frantic acting in INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS might have even become something of 1950's shlock for some in later years. But , the title even inspired soul artists P Funk's INVASION OF THE BOOTY SNATCHERS title for their second album. INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS is part of the American cultural landscape.
McCarthy's original 1956 performance was by a great and very serious actor. A great actor in a great film.