More bad news regarding those who have helped make my life more pleasant in the past: Darren McGavin has passed away at the age of 83. McGavin earned a place in my personal television history for his portrayal of Karl Kolchak on the series The Night Stalker. McGavin's Kolchak was a self-assured, determined, undeterred searcher for the truth, no matter how unbelievable that truth was; he accepted the existence of monsters and the supernatural as being far more believable than the existence of an honest politician, and reinforced in his own distinctive manner my personal belief that the story most reporters present for public dissemination is far less interesting than the whole story that they're unable to share.
McGavin is also well known for his role as the father in the Turner Broadcasting film fave A Christmas Story. Here's a personal secret related to that film: as much as I like Christmas and Christmas-themed films and songs, I've never been incredibly fond of that film. It has moments of brilliance, but the role that McGavin must play in that film is so over-the-top and so unpleasant that it has made me appreciate the film more in small parts than as a cinematic whole. So while others may remember him for that film, I'll always think of him as Kolchak, searcher for the truth.
So long, Mr. McG, and thanks--hope you've found all that you're looking for!