Kevin McCarthy, who has died aged 96, notched up more than 70 years as a working actor on stage and screen, with more than 200 film and TV credits. However mundane the material, it was usually enhanced by his lazy charm and natural elegance, his intriguing baritone voice and unconventional good looks – all attributes that might well have led him down the political path of his cousin, senator Eugene McCarthy. As it happened, he preferred to play politicians rather than be one.
He received his first screen credit in Laslo Benedek's version of Death of a Salesman (1951). McCarthy had previously played Biff, one of Willy Loman's disillusioned sons, in the London production of Arthur Miller's play, in 1949. By the time of the movie, he was a youthful-looking 37, with considerable stage experience. Resuming the role of Biff, he held