Karl Hardman (Schon) (1927-2007) R. I. P.

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NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD’s “Harry Cooper,” actor Karl Hardman died on Sunday after a battle with pancreatic cancer.


Hardman, his on-screen (and real life) wife Marilyn Eastman, and his on-screen (and real life) daughter Kyra made up the ill-fated, dysfunctional Cooper clan in director George A. Romero’s 1968 masterpiece.


A veteran ad man, Hardman was part of the Romero Image Ten group. Under the name “The Latent Image” they produced commercials and industrial films in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during the sixties. One day they pooled their resources and self-financed their first feature film. The rest is cinematic history.


Besides appearing in and producing NIGHT, Hardman also doubled as at least one zombie, and performed other post-production chores.


El Vato had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Hardman in 1993 and recalls an incredibly friendly, genial man with an amazing ability to engage the people around him. He was genuinely appreciative of his association with NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and it’s a shame he didn’t get to work in any other feature films of a similar quality.


It is sadly ironic that we at the DARK VAULT have been in pre-production on our NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD episode at the time Hardman died. Hardman was the last surviving male lead of NIGHT. Keith Wayne (Tom) killed himself in 1995, and Duane Jones (Ben) died of a heart attack in 1988.


~ by darkvault on September 28, 2007.

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