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Mike Wallace called him the "most amoral" man he had ever interviewed, and Robert Towne used him for inspiration when he wrote his Oscar-winning screenplay for 1974's , about a morally dubious private eye played by Jack Nicholson. "But he was one of them." Born in 1922, the 6-foot-2 Otash grew up in Methuen, Mass., but left home to serve in the Marines before joining the LAPD.