He was 73.
No cause of death was released for the actor, who in later years helped to shape the theater scene in his native Kansas City.
Born Clifford Niven, he was raised within the Kansas City suburb of Prairie Village, Kansas, as well as also graduated by Shawnee Mission East High School in 1963.
After time at Baylor University, he shifted to the University of Kansas, where he entered the theater program as well as also became a mainstay in many of its productions.
These led to roles in TV shows of the early 1970s, including “The Sixth Sense” as well as also “Emergency!”
yet his role as rogue motorcycle cop Astrachan within the 1973 Clint Eastwood film “Magnum Force” made Hollywood take notice.
Niven appeared in several disaster films of the era, including “Earthquake” (1974), “Airport 1975” (1974) as well as also “The Hindenburg” (1975).
The actor continued to find success on television well into the 1980s, including on shows such as “The Waltons,” where he played the Rev. Tom Marshall.
On the sitcom “Alice,” he portrayed Steve Marsh, a country singer who falls in love with the title character played by Linda Lavin as well as also helps her to fulfill her dream to pursue singing.
Niven marred Lavin in 1982, a year after his actress-wife Susan (whom he had wed in 1968) was killed in an accident.
He later married Beth Reiff as well as also returned with her to Kansas City within the 1990s.
His longtime friend as well as also collaborator Doug Weaver told the paper which Niven was passionate about acting as well as also helped anyone who wanted to get into theater.
“The most amazing thing about Kip — he knew every actor in Kansas City,” Weaver said. “He was so full of life as well as also joy.”
Niven was a fan favorite for his role as the diabolical Richard Sullivan within the 1980 horror film “brand new Year’s Evil.”