James Hampton, the actor best known for his roles in F Troop, The Longest Yard and Teen Wolf, has died aged 84.
The Oklahoma-born character actor achieved sitcom immortality with one of his earliest roles, as the inept bugler Hannibal Dobbs in the 1960s series F Troop.
Hampton’s early acting in TV shows, such as Death Valley and Dr Kildare, revealed an expression well suited to comedic roles characterized by bumbling or gullibility.
This led to the role on F Troop, a comedy series about a military outpost, Fort Courage, in the 1860s.
In the role, Hampton made an indelible impression as a bugler whose playing bore only a passing resemblance to music.
Hampton was also well known to a later generation, thanks to the 1985 movie Teen Wolf, in which he portrayed the father of the title character, a werewolf played by the emerging star Michael J Fox.
He also starred in the sequel, Teen Wolf Too, which featured Jason Bateman, in 1987.
A versatile actor, Hampton played more serious roles as well, including the power company public relations man who shows Jane Fonda’s character around a nuclear power plant when disaster strikes in the 1979 film The China Syndrome.
He occasionally directed, including episodes of the 1990s series Hearts Afire, whose cast included Billy Bob Thornton.
When Thornton wrote his acclaimed film Sling Blade, released in 1996, he made sure there was a role in it for Hampton, as a hospital administrator.
Burt Reynolds was another important influence in Hampton’s career.
They met while working together on the TV series Gunsmoke in 1963, later appearing together in the 1974 American football film The Longest Yard.
Hampton both wrote and directed episodes of Reynolds’ 1990s series, Evening Shade.
James Hampton died at home in Fort Worth, Texas.
His agent said the cause was complications of Parkinson’s disease.