Editor's Note: This clip contains language some viewers may find offensive.

Name's Elmer Gantry, Elmer Fudd Gantry.

Such was Chevy Chase's hot idea for an alias in the cult-classic 1989 comedy Fletch Lives, which sprung from the mystery novels of Gregory Mcdonald, who died Sunday at his Tennessee farm. He was 71 and had been battling cancer, according to his manager.

Like well-meaning but ultimately disaster-prone Clark Griswold, reporter Irwin "Fletch" Fletcher, whom Chase played in two movies, became one of the actor's signature film personas. While Mcdonald's books were largely just a jumping-off point for the films, he, too, soaked up recognition for the character he had created.

The two-time Edgar Allan Poe Award-winning writer published 26 books over the years, including 11 tales featuring the intrepid Fletch, the first of which (the simply titled Fletch) came out in 1974.

Mcdonald is survived by his wife, Cherlye, and five children.

And, of course, by Fletch, Peggy-Lee Zorba, Nostradamus, the Colonel, Billy-Jean King, Claude-Henry Smoot, Peter Lemonjello, Ed Harley, Henry Himmler, Victor Hugo, Bobby-Lee Schwartz II and Elmer Fudd Gantry.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.