Gene Dynarski, ‘Seinfeld’ and ‘Star Trek’ Actor, Dies at 86

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Gene Dynarski, who appeared as Izzy Mandelbaum Jr. on “Seinfeld” and on the original “Star Trek” television series, has died. He was 86.

Dynarski died on Feb. 27 at a rehabilitation center in Studio City, his friend, playwright Ernest Kearney announced.

The actor starred in the 1997 “Seinfeld” episode “The English Patient” as the son of Lloyd Bridges’ character. The pair reprised their roles in another episode,“The Blood,” on the next season.

Dynarski also worked on two Steven Spielberg films, “Duel” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” among several television projects, including “Star Trek,” “Batman” and “The X-Files.”

Kearney recounted in a blog post that Dynarski seemed to have a talent for rubbing people the wrong way.

“Spielberg recognized Dynarski’s talents and used him a second time in his sci-fi epic Close Encounters of the Third Kind. In one of the film’s best scenes, Dynarski played the supervisor who sends Richard Dreyfuss to investigate the mysterious blackouts. And here’s a good example of Dynarski pissing off the wrong people.

“He pissed off Spielberg. Pissed him off to the point where, after its 1977 debut, Spielberg cut Dynarski out of all the film’s subsequent releases. It wasn’t until the release of the 30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition that included the 1977 edition that Dynarski’s performance could be seen again,” Kearney wrote.

The Brooklyn native had a small role in Steven Spielberg’s 1971 telefilm “Duel” as a truck driver in a cafe and appeared in two episodes on the original “Star Trek,” once in the 1966 episode “Mudd’s Women” as the miner Ben Childress and as Krodak in “The Mark of Gideon” in 1969.

Dynarski also starred as one of the Egghead’s henchmen in the 1960s Batman series and played a character who falls victim to a bat creature in an episode of “The X-Files” in 2000.

In 1979, he opened the Gene Dynarski Theatre near Sunset Boulevard and Western Avenue in Los Angeles. Tom Hanks, Ed Harris and Elisabeth Shue also performed shows there before it shut down in the mid-1990s.

Before getting acting jobs through casting director Lynn Stalmaster, Dynarski worked at a bowling alley and served in the U.S. Navy. He made his onscreen debut on an episode of “Ben Casey,” the ABC medical drama.

He is survived by two daughters.

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