Heck, even as entertainment industry business gets discussed these days, his likely isn't a name that comes up all that much. IMDB.com reports that his last screen role was sometime in 2007, and I would suspect that he's enjoyed a bit of retirement from the limelight. Still, his was a face I recall from my time before the TV set in the 1970's and 1980's -- that's without question -- when he was a frequent guest appearances on many a program, genre and beyond.
But as those genre appearances go?
The 1972-73 television season had one of those single-season programs called Circle Of Fear. IMDB.com reports that it was primarily a mystery program, but the series' synopsis indicates that the dramas largely incorporated supernatural experiences ... so that would definitely fit the bill. He appeared in an episode titled "The New House" which focused on a couple moving into a home haunted by a young girl whose ghost refused to leave. This was the show's pilot episode.
A few years later -- with an awful lot of conventional appearances in between -- Birney enjoyed another guest spot in yet another anthology program: Tales Of The Unexpected showcased some TV dramas that also dabbled in Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy. For this program, Birney headlined an episode titled "The Nomads," a yarn featuring a troubled Vietnam vet who stumbles across a broader alien conspiracy.
1986 saw the actor turn up in yet one more anthology program -- the mid-1980's reincarnation of Rod Serling's popular The Twilight Zone for CBS. A decade later, he took over the voice of 'Anakin Skywalker' in the National Public Radio adaptation of Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi. In 1998, he turned up in episodes of Sliders and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. And his last genre role was aboard an episode of the curious Poltergeist: The Legacy, a supernatural procedural that aired in television syndication.
Alas, none of us last forever, and word reached us this morning that he's passed away.
Thoughts and prayers are extended to the family and friends of David Birney.