Adam (from Law & Order): The D.A. of NYC, Adam is the guy who says it like it is. He is also the guy who waves his hands in exasperation when Stone wants to do something risky. Like Brass on CSI, he has a roguish twinkle and sardonic tone that keeps him detached and amused even when he is prophesying doom.
Luger (from Barney Miller): Luger is the raspy-voiced Deputy Inspector who shows up to complain about modern life versus the good old days. His delivery (of some downright outrageous lines) is so deadpan, he always brings down the house. Luger reminds me of Eugene's description: "an aging cold warrior adapting to modern times but not leaving the past behind," a supporting character who keeps a show from veering off into "a mush of shallow moralizing with strawman opponents."
Ducky (from NCIS): Ducky (played by David McCallum who doesn't look all that different from his Illya Kuryakin character despite the gap in years) isn't really grumpy. With that great accent and gentlemanly kindliness--not to mention all those interesting stories--he is absolutely adorable! However, he can be deadpan sardonic. Ducky represents old guy wisdom while Gibbs represents middle-aged guy terseness. Ducky is what happens when old guys accept that they are old guys.
|Lionel yelling at some kids.|
Dr. McCoy (from Oh, You Know): A decade older than Nimoy or Shatner, DeForest Kelly took on the role of grumpy old guy who everyone goes to for advice. Sure, he complains ("I'm a doctor, not a therapist") but secretly he would hate it if he wasn't the voice of down-to-earth commonsense. In my opinion, Karl Urban did a decent job adopting that role.
James Earl Jones as the grumpy Darth Vader, the supposedly grumpy neighbor in Sandlot, and the grumpy writer in Field of Dreams ("Back, back, you're from the sixties!"). That gruff, melodic baritone is just so cool, it's hard to ever see Jones' characters as anything but attractive. I wouldn't be surprised if James Earl Jones was singly responsible for Darth Vader's redemption.
I should mention Doctor Sloan from Diagnosis Murder. Dick Van Dyke is the antithesis of grumpy old guy. Still, he is a treat to watch, and he can play grumpy old guy if he is really pushed to it.
And representative of young-guy-who-will-grow-up-to-be-an-adorable-grumpy-old-guy: Rodney McKay.