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Buck Kartalian
Publicity Photo of Buck Kartalian.jpg
Publicity Photo of Buck Kartalian
Vahe Kartalian

(1922-08-13)August 13, 1922
Died May 24, 2016(2016-05-24) (aged 93)
Mission Hills, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor, wrestler
Years active 1953–2006
Spouse(s) Mary Evonne Bannister
(m. 1952; div. 1957)
Margaret Poloshjian
(m. 1959; her death 2015)
Children 3

Vahe "Buck" Kartalian (August 13, 1922 – May 24, 2016) was an American professional wrestler and character actor.


Vahe Kartalian was born on August 13, 1922, in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Armenian immigrants. He had four sisters and one brother. When Kartalian was two, their family moved to New York City. His father, a baker, died when he was 11. During World War II, Kartalian served in the United States Navy on a destroyer in the Pacific theatre. After returning home, he worked as a body builder and professional wrestler (called the "Hell's Kitchen Roughneck") and competed in both regional and national competitions. Kartalian decided to become an actor after being noticed by Broadway producers. He never took acting lessons.

Plays in which Kartalian appeared on Broadway included One More River (1960), Golden Fleecing (1959), and Romeo and Juliet (1951). In Romeo and Juliet, he played Sampson alongside Olivia de Havilland as Juliet.

Kartalian appeared in more than 70 films and television shows between 1953 and his retirement in 2006. Kartalian is best known for his role in the film Planet of the Apes (1968) as Julius, the brutish gorilla who guarded the captive humans at the Research Complex. He later played the gorilla Frank in the third film of the series, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972). Kartalian is also known for his film roles as a sailor in Mister Roberts (1955), a prisoner in Cool Hand Luke (1967), a shopkeeper in The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), and a reverend in The Rock (1996).

On television, Kartalian appeared on various shows, including Naked City, The Untouchables, Get Smart, The Munsters, Batman, Lou Grant, Cagney & Lacey, and Friends. Kartalian also had a regular role as Bruce W. Wolf in Monster Squad (1976).

Personal life

On January 9, 1952, Kartalian married Mary Evonne Bannister in the Curran Theatre in San Francisco. The ceremony took place on the set of the play Mr. Roberts, in which Kartalian was appearing. They later divorced. Kartalian married Margaret Poloshjian in 1959. They had three children: Aram, Julie, and Jason. Jason Kartalian became a film producer and director.

Kartalian died on May 24, 2016, in a hospital in Mission Hills, California, at age 93.



Year Title Role Notes
1955 Cell 2455 Death Row Monk
1955 Mister Roberts Mason
1961 Sail a Crooked Ship Finster
1965 Morituri Merchant Marine Uncredited
1967 The Young Warriors Soldier In Squad Attacking Tank
1967 Devil's Angels Funky
1967 Cool Hand Luke "Dynamite"
1968 Planet of the Apes Julius
1968 The Acid Eaters Artie / The Devil
1968 Stay Away, Joe "Bull" Shortgun
1969 Mark of the Gun Bert
1969 Women for All Reasons Unknown
1970 Myra Breckinridge Jeff
1970 Booby Trap Scarpo
1971 Blood Legacy Igor Garin
1971 Bunny O'Hare Sensitivity Group
1971 Octaman Raul
1972 Conquest of the Planet of the Apes Frank, The Gorilla
1973 Please Don't Eat My Mother Henry Fudd
1975 Sons of Sassoun Unknown
1976 The Outlaw Josey Wales The Shopkeeper
1980 The Man with Bogart's Face Nicky
1982 Forty Days of Musa Dagh Village Spokesman
1985 Gymkata The Kahn
1987 Checkpoint Bus Driver
1987 Real Men Produce Hawker
1992 Big Girls Don't Cry... They Get Even Dog Owner
1995 Josh Kirby... Time Warrior: Chapter 3, Trapped on Toyworld Gepetto Direct-to-video
1996 The Rock Reverend
1997 Eight Days a Week Nonno, Marge's Dad
1999 My Favorite Martian Muscle Man
1999 The Art of a Bullet Henry
2000 The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas Old Man At Bronto King
2000 Pedestrian Unknown
2000 Dave's Blind Date Gene Short
2000 Magicians The Bagel Shop Clerk
2001 Tomcats Grandfather MacDonald
2002 The Third Wheel Old Man
2005 Standing Still Older Man
2005 Extreme Dating Earl
2006 Cattle Call The Janitor (final film role)


Year Title Role Notes
1953 Robert Montgomery Presents Unknown Episode: "No Picnic at Mt. Kenya"
1959 Naked City Sanitation Department Foreman / Sanitation Worker 2 episodes
1962 Don't Call Me Charlie! M.P. Episode: "A Friend in Need"
1962 The Gallant Men Joey Lopuschok Episode: "And the End of Evil Things"
1962–1963 The Untouchables Al Gross / Nate Stryker 2 episodes
1963 Arrest and Trial Eddie, The Paramedic Episode: "Inquest Into a Bleeding Heart"
1964 Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Crew Member Episode: "Eleven Days to Zero"
1964 No Time for Sergeants The Foreman Episode: "Do Me a Favor and Don't Do Me Any"
1965 Get Smart Leopold Episode: "Our Man in Toyland"
1965 The Munsters The 2nd Workman Episode: "Underground Munster"
1966 McHale's Navy The Waiter Episode: "McHale's Country Club Caper"
1966 Batman John Episode: "Hot Off the Griddle"
1968 The Wild Wild West Lieutenant Bengston Episode: "The Night of the Pelican"
1968–1969 Here Come the Brides Sam / Jason's Man 6 episodes
1970 Breakout Hogan Television film
1971 Goodbye, Raggedy Ann Tony Television film
1971–1972 Nichols Samuel 3 episodes
1973 The New Perry Mason Prison Snitch Episode: "The Case of the Perilous Pen"
1974 Run, Joe, Run Horn Episode: "Yardbirds"
1976 Monster Squad Bruce W. Wolf 13 episodes
1977 The Red Hand Gang Kidnapper 4 episodes
1980–1981 Lou Grant "Red" Borotra / Leon Hartounian 2 episodes
1983 Cagney & Lacey Rocky Menukian Episode: "Open and Shut Case"
1995 Friends Frankie Episode: "The One with Ross's New Girlfriend"
1996 The Jamie Foxx Show Rutherford B. White Episode: "And Bubba Makes Three"
1996 Life with Roger Dave Episode: "Love Thy Neighbor"
1996 ER Lloyd Frick Episode: "Union Station"
2000 Felicity Guard Episode: "Docuventary II"
2000 Son of the Beach Papa Gigio Episode: "Mario Putzo's 'The Last Dong'"
2000 Curb Your Enthusiasm Shoe Repair Guy Episode: "Ted and Mary"
2002 Even Stevens Old Guy #2 Episode: "Boy on a Rock"
2002 Just Shoot Me! The Clerk Episode: "Guess Who's Coming to Blush"
2003 Recipe for Disaster Luigi Television film
2004 Rodney Elderly Man Episode: "It's Up, It's Good"
2005 How I Met Your Mother Henry Episode: "Return of the Shirt"
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