Word has come out that legendary actor Rip Torn, best known for his work in Men in Black and The Larry Sanders Show with the late Garry Shandling, sadly passed away on Tuesday, July 9.
According to his representatives, Torn passed away at the age of 88 in his home in Lakeville, Connecticut. He was surrounded by his family at the time.
Torn had a seven-decade career in the industry and worked in everything — film, television, and theater. He studied acting in college at Texas A&M and the University of Texas but decided to join the Army before officially moving out to Los Angeles.
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His first film was 1956’s Baby Doll. After it was released, he decided to relocate to New York City, which is where he made his Broadway debut. He was a part of Tennessee Williams’ original cast in 1959 for the now-classic, Sweet Bird of Youth.
Also known for playing villainous characters in his films, Torn was an evil wizard in the film The Beastmaster and then played an attorney in Albert Brooks’s beloved film Defending Your Life.
In 1984 he was also nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, thanks to his part as Marsh Turner in Cross Creek.
One of his most iconic performances was the role of Zed in the first two Men in Black films, which he starred in with Will Smith. Smith shared a tribute to Torn after his passing on Instagram, writing, “R.I.P. Rip.”
Torn was also in the 2004 movie Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, but he will probably best be remembered for his work in the HBO comedy, The Larry Sanders Show, which ran from 1992 to 1998. He played Artie, a loyal producer who manages his star, Shandling, and earned six Emmy nominations for his performance.
Later in life, he worked in movies like Michael Mann’s The Insider, Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, and he also appeared on the hit NBC show 30 Rock.
He was also married three times. His first marriage was to Ann Wedgeworth from 1955 to 1961, his second was to Geraldine Page from 1963 until her death in 1987, and his third was to Amy Wright, whom he married in 1989.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family during this difficult time.