Brian Turk, an actor who appeared on TV shows including Carnivàle and Beverly Hills, 90210, has died after a battle with cancer. He was 49.
The announcement was made on a GoFundMe raising money for his treatment and family. “Unfortunately Brian passed away Friday morning, 9/13 from complications of his cancer,” it said. Funeral arrangements are being finalized.
Turk had been diagnosed with cancer a year earlier, according to the fundraiser, and “kept [it] quiet so as not to concern his family and friends.” It became terminal, leading to him sharing the news and the GoFundMe being established. He leaves behind his wife, Emily Wu, and an 8-year-old son.
Turk’s longest-running role was in HBO’s Carnivàle, which ran from 2003 to 2005. For both seasons of the show, he played Gabriel, a strongman, who was the son of a snake charmer.
A former football player at the University of Southern California, he often played the burly type. He first began appearing on TV in 1993 in a bit part in the Suzanne Somers show Step By Step. That led to more episodic work in Wings, Two and a Half Men, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, ER, the TV version of Weird Science, Cybill, Nash Bridges and Boy Meets World, among many others.
He appeared in multiple episodes of Saved by the Bell: The New Class (as Spike), Beverly Hills, 90210 (as Tiny) and General Hospital (as Bo Crowell).
He also had small roles in films including American Pie 2 and Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles.
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