November 3, 1937: Actor Raymond Kark born in Duluth

On this day in Duluth in 1937, Reijo Emil Kaskkainen was born in Duluth to Emil Kaskkainen and Ina (Niemi) Kaskkainen, Finnish immigrants living at 515 North Lake Avenue at the time. His parents Americanized his name to Raymond. He attended Nettleton Elementary School and Washington Junior High School, and graduated Duluth Central High School, where he was active in numerous plays, in 1957. He went on to the University of Minnesota Duluth and graduated in 1962 with a degree in speech. After college, Raymond did a brief stint in the Army before heading to Hollywood and shortening his last name to Kark. His first significant role was as “Lowell the Tree Trimmer” in an episode of The Andy Griffith Show entitled “Aunt Bee Learns to Drive.” Other small roles in sitcoms quickly followed, including parts in Green Acres, The Doris Day Show, The Red Skelton Show, Here Come the Brides, and Mayberry RFD. His biggest role was likely as the bumbling police chief in 1971’s Cold Turkey, with Dick Van Dyke, Bob Newhart, Bob and Ray, and Tom Poston. He performed more TV and movie roles in the 1970s and spent his remaining years acting in television commercials and creating children’s books. He died in Santa Barbara, California, on July 28, 1986. Read more about Kark here.

Raymond Kark