Sad news from Hollywood this afternoon, with word emerging that legendary actor and notorious trouble-maker Rip Torn has died at the age of 88.
Torn’s publicist confirmed the tenured actor passed away on Tuesday US time at his Connecticut home with his family by his side.
Rip Torn’s career spanned a whopping seven decades and featured a swathe of critically acclaimed roles. However modern audiences will likely remember him from his supporting roles as Zed in the original Men in Black trilogy, as well as the curmudgeonly mentor Patches O’Houlihan in Dodgeball.
Torn received his greatest acclaim for his work on the legendary Larry Sanders Show which ran from 1992 until 1998. As the hyper-protective producer Artie, Torn scored Emmy nominations for his work on The Larry Sanders Show in every one of its six seasons. He finally scored a win – in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series category – in 1996.
Beyond his work on screen and stage, Torn was known for his somewhat erratic behaviour and profound drinking habits. While filming the 1970 movie Maidstone, Torn and director/star Norman Mailer got into a very real fight that involved Torn striking Mailer on the head with a hammer. The cameras were rolling while the fight took place, and the resultant footage remarkably made its way into the film’s final cut.
In 2010, at the age of 79, Torn was arrested by police in Connecticut because he got absolutely loaded-up drunk and broke into a bank branch while carrying a loaded gun, believing the bank was his home.
Torn became the subject of a running internet joke as well, with a Twitter account @RipTornOutlives dedicated to naming the things and people that Torn had managed to outlive. The account marked the great man’s passing very simply a short time ago.
— Rip Torn Outlives (@RipTornOutlives) July 10, 2019
RIP to one of the all-time great real ones.