Joseph Patrick Cranshaw (June 17, 1919 – December 28, 2005) was an American character actor known for his distinctive look and deadpan humor. He is best known for one of his last roles, that of Joseph “Blue” Pulaski, a fraternity brother, in the 2003 hit comedy Old School. Cranshaw also starred as Sheriff Bob in the Air Bud movies and he played the same role in Air Buddies for the final time; Air Buddies was dedicated to both him and Don Knotts, who died one year after Cranshaw’s death.
Cranshaw was born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and became interested in acting while entertaining American troops before World War II.
Despite an acting span of more than 40 years and some 102 appearances, Cranshaw’s first credited film role came at the age of 41, in The Amazing Transparent Man (1960). Cranshaw’s mild-mannered and gentlemanly demeanor led him to a number of roles as bank tellers, store managers, and grandfathers. His major credits include Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Bandelero! (1968) Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978), Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (1985), Moving (1988), The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), Everyone Says I Love You (1996), Nothing to Lose (1997), Almost Heroes (1998), Broken Vessels (1998), Best in Show (2000), Bubble Boy (2001), and Old School (2003). He appeared in more than 50 television series, including Alice and After MASH.
Cranshaw died of pneumonia at his Fort Worth, Texas home, aged 86.