Don Calfa

Don Calfa

Highest Rated: 91% The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

Lowest Rated: 37% The Presidio (1988)

Birthday: Dec 3, 1939

Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, USA

Don Calfa was an American film and TV actor who, despite having over 80 screen acting credits throughout his 40-plus year career, was best known for playing the mortician Ernie Kaltenbrunner in the horror-comedy "The Return of the Living Dead" (1985). Born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens, Calfa originally intended on becoming a painter. He was artistically inclined in high school and planned on attending an art college once he turned 18. His plans changed, however, after he saw James Dean in "Rebel Without a Cause" (1955). Upon watching the landmark film for the first time, Calfa knew he wanted to become an actor. With that in mind, he promptly quit high school and started training at a New York acting workshop. By the mid-1960s Calfa was appearing in numerous plays, both on Broadway and Off, while making a name for himself as a serious actor who could also do comedy. Calfa landed his first film role in director Robert Downey Sr.'s 1968 comedy "No More Excuses." He continued landing film and TV roles throughout the 1970s, most notably in films like "Nickelodeon" (1976) and "New York, New York" (1977), as well as television shows like "Kojak" (CBS, 1973-78). Then in 1985 Calfa appeared as a mortician named Ernie in the horror-comedy "The Return of the Living Dead." The tongue-in-cheek horror film became a cult hit, and although he didn't know it at the time, Calfa's role as Ernie would be the one he was most remembered for. Four years later, Calfa landed a part as a moronic hitman named Paulie in the comedy "Weekend at Bernie's" (1989). That film would go on to become a major hit at the box office, with Calfa receiving wide-praise for his comedic chops. Over the next 15 years Calfa continued to act steadily in both movies and TV shows, but his output came to a halt in the mid-2000s. He appeared in two more films in the mid-2010s, "Sharkskin" (2015) and "Lewisburg" (2017), but those would prove to be his last. On December 2, 2016 Calfa died at his home in Palm Springs, California. He was 77.

Highest rated movies

The Return of the Living Dead
Foul Play
The Star Chamber
The Rose
Cinderella Liberty
Weekend at Bernie's
The Presidio




No Score Yet No Score Yet Sharkskin Joey 'Snot' (Character) - 2015
No Score Yet 8% Corpses Are Forever Jack Stark (Character) - 2004
No Score Yet No Score Yet Downward Angel Adam (Character) - 2001
No Score Yet No Score Yet Tough Guy Office Worker No. 1 (Character) - 1996
No Score Yet No Score Yet Columbo: Strange Bedfellows Rudy (Character) - 1995
No Score Yet 40% Necronomicon Mr. Benedict (Character) - 1994
No Score Yet No Score Yet Me, Myself and I Irving (Character) - 1992
No Score Yet 42% Chopper Chicks in Zombietown Ralph Willum (Character) - 1990
52% 57% Weekend at Bernie's Paulie (Character) $29.4M 1989
37% 33% The Presidio Howard Buckely (Character) $18.9M 1988
No Score Yet No Score Yet Treasure of the Moon Goddess Harold Grand (Character) - 1987
91% 79% The Return of the Living Dead Ernie Kaltenbrunner (Character) - 1985
71% 41% The Star Chamber Lawrence Monk (Character) - 1983
No Score Yet No Score Yet Shooting Stars Driscoll (Character) - 1983
71% 81% The Rose Don Frank (Character) - 1979
68% 53% 10 Neighbor (Character) - 1979
74% 68% Foul Play Scarface (Character) - 1978
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Law Rod Brainard (Character) - 1974
No Score Yet 28% Bank Shot Stosh Gornik (Character) - 1974
63% 62% Cinderella Liberty Lewis (Character) - 1973
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Rainbow Boys Mazella (Character) - 1973
No Score Yet No Score Yet Goodnight, My Love Bananas (Character) - 1972
No Score Yet 47% No More Excuses Unknown (Character) - 1968


No Score Yet 0% Less Than Perfect Unknown (Guest Star) 2003
No Score Yet 75% Columbo Rudy (Guest Star) 1990 1995
No Score Yet 88% Boy Meets World Frank (Guest Star) 1994
No Score Yet 66% Murder, She Wrote Unknown (Guest Star) 1988 1993
82% 89% Twin Peaks Vice Principal Greege (Guest Star) 1990
97% 100% Hill Street Blues Kenny Armis (Guest Star) 1986
No Score Yet No Score Yet Last Precinct Unknown (Guest Star) 1986
No Score Yet 82% Amazing Stories Unknown (Character) 1985
No Score Yet No Score Yet Simon & Simon Unknown (Guest Star) 1985
No Score Yet 100% Barney Miller Edward Pratken (Guest Star) 1977-1979 1981
No Score Yet No Score Yet Bionic Woman Unknown (Guest Star) 1978
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Streets of San Francisco Larry Mason (Guest Star) 1974-1975 1977
No Score Yet No Score Yet Kojak Unknown (Guest Star) 1974