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Rhinebeck Resident, 'Walking Dead' Actor, Has A Sweet Side

Actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan, star of "The Walking Dead" and Rhinebeck resident, co-owns Samuel's Sweet Shop, the village's upscale candy and coffee emporium, with pal actor Paul Rudd. Photo Credit: Samuel's Sweet Shop/Facebook
Samuel's manager John Traver portrays Willy Wonka of chocolate factory fame. He and staff members at the Rhinebeck candy store are dressing up in costume to celebrate the upcoming Halloween holiday. Photo Credit: Samuel's Sweet Shop/Facebook
Halloween cookies are frightening, but fun, at Samuel's Sweet Shop in Rhinebeck. Photo Credit: Samuel's Sweet Shop/Facebook

RHINEBECK, N.Y. -- Zombies overrun candy store.

Now there’s a Halloween headline you’re unlikely to see, unless (insert scary music here) it’s talking about Samuel’s Sweet Shop in Rhinebeck, an old-fashioned purveyor of sugary treats that’s co-owned by actors Jeffery Dean Morgan and Paul Rudd.

Morgan, who once broke hearts as a doomed patient on “Grey’s Anatomy” is more recently known for breaking zombie heads as a bad-but-good guy on the monster hit TV series, “The Walking Dead.”

His “Dead” character, Negan, wields his barbed-wire-wrapped baseball bat, “Lucille,” with gruesome gusto, but in the real world, Morgan is just a big, bearded softie.

He once admitted to “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert that his 6-year-old son, Gus, is far more impressed by daddy’s candy shop than with his acting career.

Gus sort of thinks he owns Samuel’s, so when he secretly pockets a gumball or two, it goes on daddy’s “account,” Morgan told Colbert with a grin.

The first guy Morgan met in Rhinebeck after moving to the Hudson Valley with his wife, actress Hilarie Burton, was Ira Gutner.

Gutner had given up a career in New York City’s garment district to pursue his dreams of owning a boutique candy and coffee shop in bucolic Dutchess County.

When Gutner died suddenly in 2014, the community was devastated. That’s where Morgan and his pal, Rudd, stepped in.

Helping them make the transition was John Traver, who started working at Samuel’s when he was only 15.

Traver, who now manages the shop, is dressing up as Willy Wonka for Halloween this year.

He said he’s doing it in honor of the late actor, Gene Wilder, who portrayed the top hat-wearing protagonist in the movie version of Roald Dahl’s 1964 children’s novel, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

And the fun doesn’t stop there: Samuel’s will be marking the holiday with a costume “patch” for little “walkers,” witches and werewolves.

But don’t worry, the scariest thing there will likely be the shop’s gummy vampire fangs and candy corn-shaped cookies.

There will also be entertainment for the costumed munchkins -- and young-at-heart adults -- in the form of Darryl Bielski, a Poughkeepsie-based balloon artist.

The party begins at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 31.

Samuel’s is at 42 E. Market St.

For more information, visit its website, , or check out its Facebook page by clicking here .

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