Cliff Emmich, ‘Little House on the Prairie’ and ‘Payday’ actor, dead at 85

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Cliff Emmich, “Little House on the Prairie” and “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot’ actor,” has died. He was 85.

A representative for Emmich confirmed with Fox News Digital of his death and said the actor suffered from a health battle. 

“My client and friend for over fifty years lost his battle with lung cancer… He passed at his home in Valley Village on Monday,” his rep said in a statement.

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The fun-loving actor was born in 1936 in Cincinnati, Ohio, and raised in Los Angeles, California. 

Cliff Emmich, “Little House on the Prairie” and “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot’ actor,” has died. He was 85.
(Getty Images)

He was named after his father Clifford, who was a popular exotic car dealer and had Hollywood elite customers, including Clark Gable, Gary Cooper and Ozzie Nelson.

After graduating with the class of 1955 from John Muir High School, he went on to serve in the air force as a photo technician. 

Emmich then studied at the Pasadena Playhouse and went on to tour the country with the American Repertory Players after. He spent a summer performing at the Pink Garter Theatre in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

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Cliff Emmich additionally played a counterfeiter with the name of "The Candy Man" during a two-part "Happy Days" episode titled "Fonzie’s Funeral" in 1979.

Cliff Emmich additionally played a counterfeiter with the name of “The Candy Man” during a two-part “Happy Days” episode titled “Fonzie’s Funeral” in 1979.
(Getty Images)

The actor was featured in more than 90 films and television programs throughout his career, making his film debut in 1969’s “Gaily, Gaily.”

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He was best known for his role in “Payday” as he portrayed the character Chicago, the driver of a Cadillac sedan with Rip Torn’s honky tonk singer Maury Dann in the backseat, in the 1973 film.

During the fifth season of "Little House on the Prairie," Michael Landon wrote a role specifically for Emmich. It was reportedly one of his favorite roles he’s portrayed.

During the fifth season of “Little House on the Prairie,” Michael Landon wrote a role specifically for Emmich. It was reportedly one of his favorite roles he’s portrayed.
(Getty Images)

In the 1974 film “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot,” Emmich went on to act as a Western Union security guard, alongside his costars Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges. 

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Emmich continued playing the role of another security guard in “Halloween II” in 1981.

He additionally played a counterfeiter with the name of “The Candy Man” during a two-part “Happy Days” episode titled “Fonzie’s Funeral” in 1979.

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During the fifth season of “Little House on the Prairie,” Michael Landon wrote a role specifically for Emmich. He played a shy and embarrassed middle-aged character whose daughter was ashamed of him in the episode “The Man Inside.” It was reportedly one of his favorite roles he’s portrayed.

The beloved actor also appeared in films and television shows, including, “Barracuda,” “Starsky and Hutch,” “Murder, She Wrote,” and “Walker, Texas Ranger.”

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