James Karen, character actor and Pathmark pitchman, dead at 94

“Mr. Pathmark” has died.

Character actor James Karen appeared in over 200 films and TV shows, including iconic episodes of “The Jeffersons,” where he played a racist, and "Little House on the Prairie," where he destroyed Walnut Grove in the finale.

His memorable movie appearances included roles in "Poltergeist," playing the developer who built a home over a cemetery, but fatefully left  the bodies in place.

He played bad guys, nice guys and tough guys with ease. He was also quite a pitchman.

In the New York area, he became a celebrity known as Mr. Pathmark because of his commercials for the now-defunct supermarket chain.

His friendly, avuncular presence on the TV ads began in the early 1970s, and made him an icon.

Karen was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and grew up acting in local theater productions. His prolific career made him instantly recognizable by face if not by name.

Karen died in his Los Angeles home Tuesday, his wife said. He was 94.

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