Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Andy Hallett


Even if you are a fan of horror/mystery genre television, which I am not, you may not recognize this guy. At least not in his civvies. But all dolled up, there is nary a Buffy buff on the planet who does not know him, and is not disturbed by his death. He was a singer as well as actor, and had an unusual career-launching moment courtesy of Patti LaBelle, who yanked him up onstage to sing with her during a concert. He was spotted by Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when he was appearing in a musical revue at Universal City in Los Angeles. (What Whedon was doing at the Universal Studios Theme Park is anybody's guess, but I love, and also hate, stories where Nobodies are plucked from obscurity by Somebodies who happen by.)

Whedon created the role of Lorne, initially called The Host, specifically for Hallett, in the Buffy spin-off Angel, where he appeared in 40 episodes as a recurring character before joining the over-the-title cast. By the time the series ended, he had appeared in 76 episodes and had created a character which was both comic (he ran a karaoke bar) and demonic (check out the horns and the Witchiepoo nose) and, let's be honest, a little bit gay. That gleam in his eye every time he leaned forward toward David Boreanaz can't be denied.

Hallett's post-Angel years were spent as a musician, and struggling with the heart disease which took his life last Sunday at age 33.