John Karlen
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John Karlen played Willie Loomis on the cult favorite TV daytime gothic soap opera “Dark Shadows.” Loomis was the James Dean type that breaks into the Collins family mausoleum and unknowingly releases the vampire Barnabas Collins. Collins attacks Loomis and turns him into his servant. In the 1980s, Karlen played the husband of Tyne Daly’s character Mary Beth Lacey on the crime series “Cagney & Lacey.” He won an Emmy for the role in 1986.

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Published in The Gazette on Jan. 23, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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109 entries
August 30, 2020
Sweet memories of my teen years. Praying for the family in their time of loss.
Sandra Scalese
August 7, 2020
I started watching Dark Shadows in 1966 when I was eleven. You were the character that stayed in my mind! I am currently watching all the seasons of Dark Shadows!
Karen Bouchard
August 5, 2020
The Dark Shadows Episode Where Willie Released Barnabas From His Coffin Was Pure Genius. Mr. Karlen, In My Opinion, Played Willie Loomis Perfectly!!!
Donnie Brooke
August 1, 2020
He was a great actor. Loved him in Dark Shadows.
Millie Seliga
July 29, 2020
I watched Dark Shadows after school when I was 11 years old. This past week, I found that it was on cable, so I am binge watching the shows at 62 years old. John was so good in his role as Willie Loomis, I just happened to look him up to see if he won an Emmy for his performance. Much to my dismay, he passed away this year. My condolences for your loss.
Cairn Hummingbird
July 15, 2020
A true New Yorker, from Brooklyn! Watched him cross the street in front of
Dark shadows convention site in downtown Brooklyn, in shorts !
The fans always enjoyed inter acting with him,,,,
Bs kaufman
Bs Kaufman
June 9, 2020
I am going to miss you! You were a cutie Rest in Peace. ❤
Janet Shannon
May 26, 2020
Rest in Peace "Willie". You forever live in our hearts.
Timothy Connelly
February 23, 2020
John will be missed by his many, many admirers. He was a beloved entertainer. John's role as Harvey Lacey was a memorable performance by his outstanding acting. RIP John JM
February 20, 2020
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
February 19, 2020
i met you in new york at the dark shadows festival. love ya, man. in dark shadows, your character revolved..from a snivelly a hero. what a character change you made...hope you won a emmy or whatever for your career. karen humphrey condra
February 15, 2020
Valenda Newell
February 10, 2020
God is a God of all Comfort and he will Comfort the family's..My heartfelt sympathies.
February 5, 2020
Rest peacefully, John
February 5, 2020
I was saddened to hear about Mr Karlens passing. I was one of the millions who enjoyed his performance on Dark Shadows. He will be missed by many.
Rosemarie Scott
February 4, 2020
I remember back in the late 60's running home to watch Dark Shadows as that was my all time favorite show back then and still is today. John was an amazing actor who really put his all into "Willie Loomis". He was an amazing actor throughout his career. He will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him and worked with him.

My sincere sympathy to his family and friends. He will be greatly missed.
Carol Fields
February 3, 2020
John is now resting after a long career of entertaining his many, many admirers. He was an outstanding actor who created several memorable characters. His role of Harvey Lacey was my favorite. John was a terrific talent who will forever be remembered. AJM
February 1, 2020
John's career was filled with memorable performances. His appearances on Dark Shadows and Cagney & Lacey were outstanding. John's passing is very sad for his family, friends, and fans. Janet M.
January 31, 2020
John was an outstanding actor, and he played one of the best characters on Dark Shadows. He went on to guest star in many other TV shows and movies, but his shining moment was when he won an Emmy for his role as Harvey Lacey on the crime drama Cagney and Lacey. I loved seeing John act, and I loved what a nice, kind and down to earth person he seemed to be. He will be greatly missed.
January 31, 2020
I can remember him in Dsrk Shadows. I would rush home from school, as a young person, to watch the show. I also remember in in the other series. I am sorry regarding the loss of your loved one. May the God of Comfort, continue to comfort the family.
January 31, 2020
It is very sad news that the world has lost another icon, John. His performances were always outstanding and memorable. May his family and friends be surrounded by love at this very sad time. RIP John Lori B.
January 30, 2020
Family and friends of John's should read all these messages to know how beloved he was. An outstanding actor and gentleman he will be missed. Carol
January 29, 2020
John was a fantastic actor who will be missed by many, many admirers. He has entertained millions with all of his amazing performances. This beloved man will always be remembered for his roles on Dark Shadows and Cagney and Lacey. RIP John - you did great work- AJM
January 29, 2020
John was an excellent actor in every role he performed. He was a beloved gentleman who had many, many fans who will forever miss him. John created the Harvey Lacey character to perfection. May his family be surrounded by love of friends at this very sad time. Chris M.
January 29, 2020
I was one of many people privileged enough to have meet john. he had a way of making you feel like you were the only one in the room even with countless people were there. I felt like I had known him all my life. I saw him twice and will never forget. I want too wish my condolences to all who knew and loved him. Thank you, Eric Charlton
Eric Charlton
January 29, 2020
I used to watch dark shadows with my mom and cagney and Lacey too. He was a great actor. RIP.
Alice Williams
January 28, 2020
May John's family and friends find some peace in these loving messages for him. Their loss has been shared by John's many, many fans and admirers. He was a beloved actor who will forever be missed. Donna D.
January 28, 2020
Harvey Lacey was created by John and both were beloved. John did many memorable roles for which he will be remembered as an excellent actor. It is time for him to rest--Marsha
January 28, 2020
These messages that continue to be posted for John shows how beloved he was. He was an outstanding talent who performed many memorable roles. He will truly be missed by his thousands of admirers and fans. JM
January 27, 2020
Rest in Peace, John. You will be missed.
James Newcom
January 27, 2020
John was an excellent actor in each of his performances. It is very sad he has now left the stage. At this very sorrowful time, may his family be surrounded by love. Dawn M.
January 27, 2020
Thank you John for the gift of making us laugh.
Chris Kuzler
January 27, 2020
John was a very good actor! I loved him in Cagney & Lacey, especially, and also in Dark Shadows. I am happy for him that he had a successful, fulfilling life, and is so well known by many. I don't know anything about his family/personal life, but send my condolences to his family and friends. John is remembered.
January 27, 2020
Condolences to Family, Friends, and Fans.
Johnnie Brown
January 27, 2020
Harvey Lacey on Cagney & Lacey was a beloved character who John created. He was multi talented who performed each role he had in an outstanding manner. John was a class act---Barbara M.
January 27, 2020
John Karlen was a wonderful and talented actor who played his roles with intensity my deepest sympathy to his family may our Heavenly Father comfort and strengthen all of you in this time of pain and sorrow
January 27, 2020
John performed many, many roles in his career, but my favorite was Harvey Lacey. He took that part and made the character memorable. He was a great actor whose talents were unlimited. The entertainment industry has lost one of their BEST. Pat M.
January 27, 2020
My condolences to the family. I recently started watching the Dark Shadows series on Prime, and his role is one of my favorite characters.
Matthew Menefee
January 26, 2020
Our sincere condolences to the Karlen Family. May the God of all comfort provide you all the strength to cope with your loss
January 26, 2020
My deepest condolences to the Karlen family, truly sorry for your loss, may God be with you to give you comfort and strength to help you as you go through this very difficult time.
January 26, 2020
January 26, 2020
loved him from Dark Shadows saw him at DS conventins I attented he willbe missed
January 26, 2020
The world has lost a very talented actor and gentleman. His portrayal of Harvey Lacey was outstanding and memorable. This beloved character was my favorite. May John now rest in peace-- Mary T.
January 26, 2020
My.deepest sympathy.john was great in dark shadows
David Szewzek
January 26, 2020
I will miss the great actor whose characters Willie Loomis from Dark Shadlows and esspecially his character Harvey Lacey who I happemed to be watching when I heard of John's passing. I enjoy watching reruns of Cagney and Lacey every evening on Start TV and thank you for showing thtese reruns. God Bless You John Karlen you are now one of Gods Angels.
Danica Pirolli
January 26, 2020
Rest In Peace and Thank you.
January 26, 2020
I first knew of John Karlen performing on Dark Shadows. It has been a pleasure watching him over the years displaying his talent and believability in his other roles.
Sympathy to his family.
Marion Smith
January 25, 2020
An honest performance with depth and character in your acting and your life. Soar in your next life.
Adrienne Pohrte
January 25, 2020
Thank you for all the memorable moments on "Dark Shadows". Looking forward to watching the show after junior high school was the highlight of many of my afternoons! Rest in Peace.
January 25, 2020
These loving messages continue to be posted for John. He was a beloved gentleman who had so much talent. He will forever be remembered as a terrific actor who performed every role he did to perfection. He will truly be missed by his many, many admirers. RIP John AJ
January 25, 2020
I , ENJOYED WATCHING YOU WORK WHEN , I WAS A CHILD ON WLNE CHANNEL 6 ....... FAREWELL , TO YOU !!!!!!! BROTHER MATTHEW 26:17-14:10 ......... HOSEA 7:04-7:05 & 7:14 ........ & MARK 1:08-1:11 ???????????
January 25, 2020
Enjoyed your work sir. Rest In Peace
January 25, 2020
R. I. P. ... My friend... You were part of my life and enjoyed my fond memories of you whilst working on Dark Shadows and afterwards.... Say hello to Jonathan and Grayson for me.
January 25, 2020
Memory Eternal
John Peskey
January 25, 2020
I was so very upset to hear of the passing of John Karlen. I was aware that he had been ill for some time as he had always attended the annual reunions with fellow cast members and fans of "Dark Shadows" in Tarreytown, New York. The story line of the show changed drastically (and for the better) after the arrival of Willie Loomis and his unchaining of the villain, Barnabas Collins. I always felt sorry for Willie. He was basically a good guy who came under the spell of Barnabas which sidetracked his love for Maggie Evans because Barnabas wanted her as his Josette. Sadly, many of the characters of the soap opera have passed through the years. Only a handful of the popular ones are still here: Maggie Evans, Angelique, Quentin Collins, Carolyn Stoddard, Vicky Winters, Reverend Trask, Sarah Collins and David Collins, off the top of my head. Thankfully, I can still see Willie and his co-stars through my "Dark Shadows" DVD collection where they will all be young, beautiful, handsome and healthy once again. Rest in peace, dear John. And many, many thanks for all of the enjoyment you gave to, we, the devoted fans of "Dark Shadows" through the many characters you represented throughout the series.
Jim Planamente
January 25, 2020
Our deepest condolences to the family. We pray that God continues to strengthen and comfort you all during this extremely difficult time.
January 25, 2020
He was a great actor. My condolences to the family. Rest in peace Sir. You will be remembered for your great works and missed
Connie Kemp
January 25, 2020
Sorry to hear of the loss
Ann Stokman
January 24, 2020
I grew up watching Mr. Karlen first on Dark Shadows then Cagney and Lacey. I also enjoyed his work in the movie, In a Child's Name. I wanted to one day meet Mr. Karlen and tell him how moved I was by a scene he did in that film. Now I won't get that chance. I wish his family and friends comfort and peace, I hope Mr. Karlen rests in peace...good bye Willie Loomis and Harvey Lacey.
Eleanor Rudland
January 24, 2020
John's acting was always outstanding. Cagney & Lacey was my favorite tv show. John's role as Harvey was memorable & award winning. He was one of the best actors in the entertainment industry. As one of his many fans I am very sad he has left us. Jane M.
January 24, 2020
I loved the Characters that he played, I saw him at a DS festival and talked briefly to him he was very nice.
Charlotte buss
January 24, 2020
John was the perfect choice for his role as Willie Loomis. I ran in the house at 3:59 every weekday to watch the great goth cult classic Dark Shadows as a young girl, and I still watch it today.
RIP 'Willie'
XO ~ Mena
January 24, 2020
Great actor loved his Willie loomis
Stephen Baldwin
January 24, 2020
I am currently watching Dark Shadows for the 1st time (currently on episode 1037); thank you John, God rest your soul.
John O.
January 24, 2020
Dark Shadows brings back fond memories, all my friends ran home from grade school to watch with bateted breath. John was always the voice of reason where Barnabas was concerned. I managed to convince my mom to take me to the studio where it was filmed. I didn't get to meet John, but I did meet David Henesy (who was everyone's crush), & Laura Parker (who was even more beautiful in person then I could have ever imagined), both so real, generous and kind to a kid from Philly. So sorry he is gone.
Maureen Bream
January 24, 2020
John played a very understanding husband and father on "Cagney and Lacey" even when "Mary Beth" (Tyne Daly) had to work late. He was a great actor and will be missed.
Michele Pedrick
January 24, 2020
Enjoyed him in Dark Shadows. One of my favorite characters...Loved him in Cagney and heart felt condolences are sent out to his family and friends.....a wonderful actor gone on that stage in the sky....
Deborah Brown
January 24, 2020
He was a great and underestamated actor rest in peace
January 24, 2020
Sadden my heart to hear
I still love dark shadows reruns.
He was the best willie.,
Great actor.. He will be missed.
Started whatching dark
shadows age 12.. So very sorry for ur lost
Betty Tillie
January 24, 2020
I was one of the kids who ran home from school to watch Dark Shadows. John Karlen was one of my favorite actors, I loved Willie. My neighbor knew his mother from his old neighborhood in Brooklyn and she had John autograph a still I had from House of Dark Shadows. I will cherish it. Rest in Peace, you will be missed.
Lonnie Cohen
January 24, 2020
Godspeed John, and thank you for the film and TV memories.

Rest John, until you hear at dawn,
the low, clear reveille of God.

Thank you for your service to this nation.
Harry Simpson
January 24, 2020
Willie at The Evan s Cottage
One of my all time favorites...he was one of the best in his many different characters on Dark Shadows..enjoyed him on Cagney and Lacey...the world has lost a great talent!!!
January 24, 2020
Rest in Peace, to one of my favorite actors! From Dark Shadows, Cagney and Lacey to many appearances on
Murder She Wrote. He will missed! Sympathy and prayer's to his Family and Friends.
Cookie Tillman
January 24, 2020
I just started watching Dark Shadows on Amazon.
I watched it back in the 60's as a little kid with a neighbor lady.
Love his character Willie.
My sympathies to his family and friends.
Rest in Peace good sir.
Shirley Flowers
January 24, 2020
So sorry to read of the passing of this wonderful actor. Loved him in the classic show Dark Shadows. In fact, I have been watching it in recent weeks on Hulu. Enjoying it over 50 years after it aired. RIP
Pam M
January 24, 2020
I met John Karlen several times at conventions. Since he was Polish, my friends and I would sing a Polish anthem for him. He was always a gentleman and had kind words for everyone. He will definitely be missed.
Eve Prietz
January 24, 2020
My best regards as I prayer for your hearts to be comforted by God.

My prayers are with you.
Philippians 4:6-7.
Janelle Eloisa Almendis
January 24, 2020
Loved him in Dark Shadows! RIP
Liz Klee-Tissue
January 24, 2020
Sympathy for your loss. May God comfort you as you grieve the loss of a great talent, John Karlen.
January 24, 2020
Freddie Rhett
January 24, 2020
Great actor. Love Dark Shadows and loved Cagney and Lacy
a fan
January 24, 2020
wyatt gaddis
January 24, 2020
My Condolences to the family and friends on their loss. Thank you for sharing him with his fans. Adam never failed to delight some once-very-young schoolgirls with the spookiness of Dark Shadows. I am sorry to have missed his later role on Cagney and Lacey.
January 24, 2020
Im sorry for your lost.
January 24, 2020
My condolences to Adam and the family, he was unconditionally loved by his fans and we knew he loved us. We mourn his passing but he will live in our hearts and never be forgotten
A Fan
January 24, 2020
Well I use to watch Dark Shadows everyday. I enjoyed it also. Sorry about his loss.
Joan Faszczewski
January 24, 2020
My sincere condolences to the family. May memories comfort you and prayers strengthen you during this time.
January 24, 2020
I'm a lifelong fan of Dark Shadows. I started watching Dark Shadows at 5 years old, and 50 years later I'm still watching!
Loved John as Willie Loomis in the show! Dracula had Renfield, and Barnabas had Willie Loomis.
R.I.P. John
Maggie Butz
January 24, 2020
My condolences.
January 24, 2020
Always loved to watch Dark Shadows in the evenings after school. Soar high John! You were an awesome actor! Prayers to the family!
January 24, 2020
A fine actor rest in peace
A fan
January 24, 2020
RIP, John Karlen
I used to watch this show all the time. There was a character that played with you by the name of Angelic'. I name my daughter after her. I really loved the show with you and the rest of the crew.
Karen Houston
January 24, 2020
My sincere condolences to the family. May your hearts be filled with the precious memories of your dear loved one, today, tomorrow and always.
A friend
January 24, 2020
We will miss you
Karen Ohara
January 24, 2020
I loved this show my mom n me watched it all the time. I will miss you rip. You have my Deepest respect and sympathy
Karen Ohara
January 24, 2020
While watching Dark Shadows reruns tonight, I decided to look up John Karlen to see if he was still living, only to find he just passed away yesterday!! Oh my ... talk about eerily disturbing news! I do have fond memories of John playing Willie Loomis in that show and though I was terrified as a young child, I never missed an episode!

So, I am deeply saddened by this great loss, and my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. May our Heavenly Father Jehovah God bless you and give you the strength to get through this difficult time.
Sandra C.
January 24, 2020
My son and I met him at the Dark Shadows 50th anniversary in Tarrytown, NY. He was kind enough to pose for pictures with my son. We will miss him immensely.
Viraf Karai
January 23, 2020
So sorry to hear this. He was a very talented actor and I enjoyed watching him in various roles. First saw him on Dark Shadows when I was a teen. My condolences to his son and family, friends (he remained a lifetime friend of DS co-star David Selby, a fave actor of mine/WVU Mountaineer/fellow West Virginian)and fans. Thanks for all
the years of entertainment, laughter and tears Mr. Karlin.
Kathy Stevens
January 23, 2020
Good guy
January 23, 2020
Sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Karlen. May the Father of tender mercies grant you His peace...
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