Whatever Happened to Don Stark?

When you ask what happened to someone it usually implies that they fell out of favor with the business, found a different path, passed away, or just somehow fell off the map. Don Stark hasn’t done any of those things to be certain since he’s still around and he’s still active as of late. The 65-year old is obviously best known for his role on That 70’s Show as Donna’s father Bob, who was kind of a bumbler and wasn’t taken seriously all that often due to a lot of the things he said. But Don has had a pretty solid career for a good number of years and started off when he was young as a lover of the theater that went on to perform several roles in a few very well-known plays. For a lot of actors this appears to be a rite of passage in a big way since some folks are called to the stage in a number of ways and others just feel that it’s something they want to do even if they’re not certain. Some folks do manage to just fall into it while others might stumble into acting later on in life after finding that a lot of things just don’t suit them. Don surprisingly has a background in martial arts, dancing, and bodybuilding, but it’s kind of hard to see this since the characters that he’s known the most for don’t look the part.

Upon reading his list of accomplishments and his acting resume one gets a better sense that he’s done far more than a lot of people might realize since he’s been around for a while and has had plenty of chances to achieve some level of greatness that might have otherwise gone by the wayside had he picked another profession. As far as accolades go it’s definitely fair to say that the most he’s racked up are pleasant memories and fans that could possibly recognize him from his name and appearance since That 70’s Show had plenty of fans and there are likely a few that might have seen Bob as a unique and likable character. Of course given how many stars were on the show it was undoubtedly hard to get as much notice as might have been desired if only because the younger cast members were often taking up a great deal of screen time given that they were the main focus of the show. He did play a solid part that was funny every time he was on screen but apart from that it doesn’t feel as though he did much.

One has to wonder what happens to those that don’t make a huge impact once they hit a certain age, but with Don it’s more a wonder of why he was content to stay where he was and not try to get any bigger. Some might say it’s because he took on the role of a supporting character and that’s where he felt most secure while others might say that he had other interests that took up his time, but somehow it feels almost like a pleasant mix of both since really he’s been present for a while in show business and hasn’t pushed himself on anyone that often but has been around just enough to show up in the strangest places even if his presence is usually welcomed. Supporting actors are often the type that will seem to fall off the map from time to time as they pursue other interests or head to shows and movies that aren’t as well-known and don’t offer them as many opportunities to push their career as they might like. In some cases, like Don’s, they find a great character or two here and there that people really remember and either cling to them or use that fame to stay relevant. In Don’s case he definitely can say that he had fame and still has it in fact, but apart from the role of Bob there have been many other chances but none that have been absolutely huge. He was definitely made for sitcoms since this is where he’s managed to shine the brightest.

That almost feels unfair to say but it’s the truth since some folks are destined for the big screen and are able to step up and take on the masses with one act or another that is convincing enough to get people thinking that they’re right where they belong. Others hit the small screen and either stay there for a while before trying to make it big, or they stay where they’re at and things work out eventually as the roles they want come and go throughout the years. Obviously people can switch back and forth between TV and the big screen, but in Don’s case it does appear that TV is where he’s been most effective.

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