Dale Critchlow, ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ Actor, Dies at 92

Dale Critchlow, ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ Actor, Dies at 92

Dale Critchlow, best known for playing farmer Lyle in Napoleon Dynamite, died Friday in Idaho Falls, Idaho, his family told local publication Preston Citizen. He was 92.

Critchlow was not known as an actor until his role in director Jared Hess’ hit 2004 film that starred Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez and Tina Majorino. One memorable scene features Critchlow’s character using a gun on a cow just as a busload of children appears.

He also appeared in the 2006 comedy Church Ball.

The Utah native, who later moved to Preston, Idaho, told East Idaho News in a 2020 interview that the movie opportunity came about after he needed Hess’ family to help him wrangle some sheep.

“My wife called Jared Hess’ mother and asked if one of her boys was there,” Critchlow recalled. “He came over, and he had a friend with him. I drove the truck out into the pasture, and the sheep came over. They grabbed those bucks and pushed them into the truck.”

He continued, “And then later, he came back and says, ‘I need a player,’ and I said, ‘Sure — when?’ He says, ‘I want you to be in my movie.’”

When asked during the interview whether he enjoyed watching Napoleon Dynamite, Critchlow said, “I thought it was kind of funny in places, and in a few places, it was kind of dragged out. He done a pretty good job.”

A funeral will be held March 4 in Preston.

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