Hardcastle and McCormick is an American action series that follows the exploits of its two titular characters. They attempt to enact justice upon criminals that escape the traditional justice system due to legal technicalities. Though the series is short-lived, it maintains a cult following since its initial run. Sadly, many stars from the series have passed. Join Facts Verse as we take a look at how each Hardcastle and McCormick cast member died.
Hardcastle and McCormick began airing on the ABC network in 1983. The series followed Judge Milton C. “Hardcase” Hardcastle, a judge known for being incredibly tough on criminals that came into his court. Milton is preparing to retire. He discovers a stack of files on his desk, documenting criminals that eschew the law due to legal technicalities. Inspired by the pulp heroes of his youth, Milton wants to spend his retirement tracking these escaped criminals down.
Although Milton is passion and intelligence, he knows that he can’t finish the job alone. Enter Mark “Skid” McCormick, a racecar driver that arrested for the benevolent theft. As of recently deceased best friend’s powerful racecar prototype, dubbed Coyote-X. Milton saw a lot of promise in Mark and offers him a deal that he’ll let the crime slide. If he agrees to help him track down the criminals that get off on technicalities. Mark agrees, and he allows to keep Coyote-X!
Actor Brian Keith portrayed the character of Judge Milton C. Hardcastle, while actor Daniel Hugh Kelly portrayed the character of Mark McCormick. Besides these two, the cast of Hardcastle and McCormick also featured Mary Jackson, John Hancock, Ed Bernard, and Joe Santos. Hardcastle and McCormick run for three seasons, and 67 episodes produce before its eventual cancellation in 1986.
Of the main cast members of Hardcastle and McCormick, the only surviving ones are Daniel Hugh Kelly and Ed Bernard. The rest of the main cast members have all since passed on. Let’s see how each of these beloved stars passed, and also what the two surviving cast members are up to!
Brian Keith’s six decades in the entertainment industry, he becomes famous for more than his role on Hardcastle and McCormick. The actor is famous for his work in 1960s cinema. Some of his biggest films are 1961’s The Parent Trap and 1963’s Johnny Shiloh. In 1975, he is playing President Theodore Roosevelt in the epic adventure film The Wind and the Lion. The actor is working in the entertainment industry for several decades before in Hardcastle and McCormick.
Brian was born in New Jersey on November 14, 1921. His father was Robert Keith, and he was the one that got Brian his first acting gig. Before starting acting, Brian attended and graduated from East Rockaway High School. After graduating in 1939, he joins the United States Marine Corps and also World War II as an air gunner.
After returning from the war, Brian made his debut on Broadway alongside his father in 1948’s Mister Roberts. He begins working on television, with one of the shows that he features being Hands of Mystery.
In 1957 that Brian receives his break on the big screen, acting in the 1957 feature Dino alongside Sal Mineo. From there, he received top billing in the 1957 feature Chicago Confidential. He also took on further supporting roles in the features Hell Canyon Outlaws and Fort Dobbs. In 1959, Keith appeared alongside Paul Neman in The Young Philadelphians and then began working with Disney.
Keith got his biggest role on television yet with his starring turn on the short-lived cult classic Sam Peckinpah series The Westerner, which premiered in 1960. From there, he receives a notable role in the series Family Affair in 1966. Later on, he receives his own sitcom on NBC, The Brian Keith Show, though it cancels in 1974 after only being on the air for a total of two seasons.
Brian is quite a bit as an actor by the time he receives the role of Hardcastle on Hardcastle and McCormick. The actor’s last film is 1997’s Rough Riders, which directs by eccentric conservative filmmaker John Milius. Brian marries three times over the course of his life with several children. He ended up committing suicide in 1997, after finding out that he was suffering from emphysema. In 2008, he receives his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! While you’re at it, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!
The next deceased Hardcastle and McCormick cast member that we’ll be taking a look at is Mary Jackson, the actress who played the character of Sarah Wicks. Besides her time on Hardcastle and McCormick, Mary is famous for her time on the television series The Waltons and Days of Our Lives.
Mary was born in Michigan on November 22, 1910. She graduated from college in 1932 and worked for a period of time as a schoolteacher during the Great Depression. During these years, Mary began developing an interest in theater. She went back to college and enrolled in a fine arts program, and the rest is history! She began performing theater in Chicago before deciding to head out to New York City in the 1950s in hopes of striking it big on television.
After arriving in New York City, Mary began finding work on television. In the 1960s, she worked her way up to film. Eventually, she found her way onto the set of Hardcastle and McCormick, turning in one of the most memorable performances of her career as Sarah Wicks. She died of Parkinson’s disease shortly after her 95th birthday.
John Hancock portrayed the character of Lt. Michael Delaney. Besides his time on Hardcastle and McCormick, the actor is perhaps the best for portraying the character of Scotty in the miniseries Roots: The Next Generation. John can be in a variety of other television series, including Diff’rent Strokes, Family Ties, The Dukes of Hazzard, and Star Trek: The Next Generation. He died of a heart attack at his home in Los Angeles in 1992.
Joe Santos is another actor that played a lieutenant on Hardcastle and McCormick, with his character being Lt. Frank Harper. Besides Lt. Frank Harper, Joe is playing a lieutenant on another show: The Rockford Files. On The Rockford Files, Joe portrayed the character of Sgt. Dennis Becker is the friend of the series’ main character James Garner. Later in the series, the character promotes to the rank of lieutenant.
Joe was born in Brooklyn on June 9, 1931. His father passed away on the same day that the child was born. His mother was strong enough to provide for her family without him and became a nightclub owner in New York City. She eventually got remarried to a man by the name of Daniel Santos.
After playing football during college and serving in the Korean War, Joe worked several menial jobs before becoming interested in acting. He was a friend of actor Al Pacino, and Al helped him get a role in the 1971 feature The Panic in Needle Park. From there, Joe had a fairly consistent career in the entertainment industry leading up to his being cast in Hardcastle and McCormick. In the years since, Joe could be seen in several episodes of The Sopranos, though he died a few days after suffering a heart attack in 2016.
Daniel Hugh Kelly
Those are all the main cast members from Hardcastle and McCormick that have passed away, but what about the surviving ones? Of course, the most important surviving cast member from the show is Daniel Hugh Kelly, who portrayed the character of Mark “Skid” McCormick. The actor is currently 69 years old, having been born in 1952.
After graduating from college, Daniel began performing on the stage. From there, he wound up getting some roles on daytime television, such as on the show Ryan’s Hope. On that series, he portrayed the character of Senator Frank Ryan for several years, with his time on the show coming to an end in 1981. Shortly after this, he was cast as one of the title characters on Hardcastle and McCormick.
In more recent years, Daniel has continued appearing on television with a recurring role As the World Turns, as well as several guest starring roles on various primetime series. Some of the more notable series that Daniel has guest-starred on since appearing on Hardcastle and McCormick include Law & Order, Supernatural, and The West Wing.
Finally, Ed Bernard is the second and last remaining main cast member from Hardcastle and McCormick that’s still with us. Besides his role on Hardcastle and McCormick, Ed was also known for portraying the character of Detective Joe Styles on the series Police Woman. Ed’s time on that series lasted from 1974 to 1978. Between Police Woman and Hardcastle and McCormick, Ed could be seen on the series The White Shadow. In recent years, Ed hasn’t been in much. However, those anxious to see more of him can check out his guest appearances on shows like Kojak and Becker.
While Hardcastle and McCormick continues to live on in the minds of fans, many of it’s cast members have passed away. Comment down below to share if you were saddened to learn about the deaths of any of the show’s aforementioned main cast members or if you were glad to hear that a few of them are still around! As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!