Rip Torn, RIP

Ross O. Lincoln, writing for The Wrap, has a glowing obiturary for the late, great Rip Torn.

Known for his gravely drawl and sinister-looking smile, Torn excelled at playing shady, amoral characters and outright villains, as in his depiction of the evil wizard Maax in the fantasy film The Beastmaster.” But he could also project no-nonsense authority, as he did playing the celestial attorney Bob Diamond in Albert Brooks’ Defending Your Life,” or Zed in the first two Men in Black” films. And in one of his most celebrated later roles, he combined those attributes in 2004’s DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story,” as sleazy dodgeball legend Patches O’Houlihan, who delivers one of the film’s funniest lines: If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.”

But it was the 1992-1998 HBO comedy The Larry Sanders Show” for which Torn will be perhaps best remembered. For playing Artie, the doggedly loyal attack dog of a producer who runs the eponymous show and manages the fragile ego of its star, Torn was widely acclaimed. He received six Emmy nominations, winning once in 1996, and over the show’s run was also nominated for two American Comedy awards (winning one), an American Television Award, and four Cable Ace awards (winning one), among many other accolades.

Definitely one of the great character actors of all time. I had completely forgotten he was in The Beastmaster.

I bet Rip smelled the Glenlivet on God’s breath [HT: Austin Kleon].

July 11, 2019


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