RIP, Paul Koslo.

Paul Koslo
(June 27, 1944 – January 9, 2019)

I just learned that one of my favorite character actors of the 70s, Paul Koslo, passed away back in January. He’s in so much great stuff: The Omega Man (1971), Joe Kidd (1972), Mr. Majestyk (1974, above), Freebie And The Bean (1974), The Drowning Pool (1975) and Rooster Cogburn (1975), to name just a few. How many actors could say they locked horns with John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson, Paul Newman and James Caan?

Every movie he was in was better for his presence.


Filed under 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, Alan Arkin, Charles Bronson, Charlton Heston, Clint Eastwood, James Caan, Paul Newman

5 responses to “RIP, Paul Koslo.

  1. john k

    Ha! I too only learned of Paul’s passing researching a comment I
    made over at Toby’s Westerns blog.
    There is some great interview stuff with Paul if you care to look for it.
    Out of the hundreds of actors that he worked with,it would seem
    he only disliked Bronson and James Franciscus.
    He did three films with Bronson,they never got on.
    Some great tales regarding MR MAJESTYK, (one of Bronson’s best
    I might add) Richard Fleischer thought Paul was so funny in that film,
    he should live at the end of the film rather than getting gunned down.
    Bronson replied “I’m not here to make a star out of Paul Koslo” and
    stormed off the set. Fleischer pleaded that he needed Bronson on set
    and Paul smiled nervously. Bronson replied “You think that’s funny,
    perhaps I can fix your face so you never smile again.”
    Paul did have a lot of time for Fleischer who was generally highly
    regarded by the actors that worked for him.
    As good as Bronson is in MR MAJESTYK I’m sorry that Eastwood
    turned this film down,purely because I’d have loved to have seen Clint
    in a Fleischer movie.
    Paul also appeared in LOVE AND BULLETS another above par Bronson
    movie,sadly not yet available on Blu Ray.
    My appreciation for JOE KIDD grows and grows especially with the
    wonderful Blu Ray version. Paul and Don Stroud are priceless in that
    picture. The landscapes (Lone Pine) are some of the finest ever to grace
    a Sturges Western.
    Apart from Bronson and Franciscus I think Paul got on with his fellow
    actors pretty well,though he did have problems with “hot-shot” English
    director Peter Collinson who tried to get him bounced from TOMORROW
    NEVER COMES. Paul says the only person that got him through that
    show was Oliver Reed who he liked a lot.
    Tony Curtis on YOU CAN’T WIN ‘EM ALL (also starring Bronson) also
    had problems with Collinson.
    Not a Paul Koslo starrer but another great 70’s flick (now we’re on
    this vibe) is Fleischer’s THE NEW CENTURIONS.


    • I can’t look at a watermelon that I don’t think if Mr. Majestyk, a movie I love dearly.

      Fletcher sure had an interesting, varied career. He made movies I love, like Armored Car Robbery, Narrow Margin, The Boston Strangler, The New Centurians and Mr. Majestyk — and one of my all-time LEAST favorite movies, Dr. Doolittle.


  2. john k

    THOUSAND HILL among many others.
    Fleischer did lose his mojo towards the end like other greats Henry
    Hathaway (the last three films at least) and Gordon Douglas but overall
    quiet a career.


  3. john k

    Thought I’d better put in a good word for Bronson,he certainly deserved
    better than that later awful “Cannon Fodder” he got stuck with.
    Some positive comments MR MAJESTYK’s Lee Purcell:
    “A real gentleman,a devoted family man very polite,soft spoken and
    extremely shy”……”I liked him and we worked well together as he was so
    easy going”
    Some comments from Tony Curtis on YOU CAN’T WIN ‘;EM ALL
    (written by and co starring Leo Gordon) made when Curtis’ star was in
    decline and Bronson’s on the rise.
    Curtis: “Charlie was a thoughtful intelligent man,he and I got along
    very well”
    “The director Peter Collinson understood the technical aspects of
    film making but didn’t have the necessary leadership skills to make a
    movie,so Charlie and I took over”


  4. Walter

    Toby, I missed that Paul Koslo passed away on January 9th, also. I doubt that the mainstream media gave his passing much more than a few seconds, although I did go back and look at THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER and it did report is passing on January 15th. I remember having computer problems at that time, so you know how that can be.

    I remember that during the 1970’s and 1980’s it seemed like every time I turned on the TV, there was Paul Koslo on weekly episodes, made for TV movies, and miniseries. Go to the movie theater to see a John Wayne movie(ROOSTER COBURN, 1975) and there was Koslo as a badman. By the way, he really liked working with John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn. Koslo said that, ” Acting seemed as easy for them as opening the water tap.” Wayne gave Koslo a coffee mug with a 24-karat gold rim that says “To Paul, from the Duke. ROOSTER COGBURN.”

    A personal aside here. In 1973 one of my best friends had a job working at a filling station(today all we have are convenience stores that sell gas), while he was still in high school in Marshall, Arkansas. One day a young man rides in on a motorcycle to get some gas. Bob, my friend, pumps the gas. Bob is really into motorcycles, so they strike up a conversation. The young man mentions that he is working over in Stone and Izard Counties. Bob asks, “What at?” He answers that he is working on a movie called the BOOTLEGGERS(1974). Bob asks, “You’re an actor?” He replies that yes, he is an actor. Bob asks him what other movies had he been in and the young man replied that he was in THE OMEGA MAN(1971). Bob then realized who was talking to. “You played Dutch.” Yes, Bob was talking with Paul Koslo, who was actually, at the time, starring in the BOOTLEGGGERS. Bob told me that Paul Koslo seemed like a regular guy, who was somewhat unassuming about being in the movies, it was what he did for a living and he liked what he was doing.

    Paul Koslo was a very good versatile character actor, who made the characters he portrayed seem, like they should actually be there. He made the movies and TV shows much better by being in them. He was one of the last of a generation of journeyman actors and actresses that appeared in numerous westerns and thrillers that we have so enjoyed over the years.

    Paul Koslo R.I.P.


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