Hollywood star Rip Torn has died at the age of 88.
The Men in Black star’s publicist Rick Miramontez has confirmed he passed away on Tuesday (July 9) while at home in Lakeville, Connecticut.
His actress wife Amy Wright and daughters Katie Torn and Angelica Page were with him and a cause of death is yet to be revealed.
He played Chief Zed, the head of the Men In Black, in the 1997 sci-fi movie and its 2002 sequel alongside Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, who has paid tribute to the late actor.
Will shared a screenshot featuring the pair on Instagram, and he added the caption: “R.I.P. Rip.”
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Rip – whose real name was Elmore Rual Torn Jr. – was also known for his role as coach Patches O’Houlihan in DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story’, who repeated the catchphrase: “Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive and Dodge.”
He portrayed Albert Brooks’ character’s defence attorney in 1991 romantic-comedy Defending Your Life alongside Meryl Streep, and Albert has paid tribute to the late star, describing him as a “true original”.
He tweeted: “R.I.P Rip Torn. He was so great in Defending Your Life. I’ll miss you Rip, you were a true original. (sic)”
Tom Green, who starred opposite Rip in 2001’s Freddy Got Fingered, wrote: “Just heard the sad news that the great Rip Torn has passed away. Rip was a class act. He was an incredible actor. One of the greats. A true legend. I am proud to have worked with him and to have known him. Rest in peace Rip. (sic)”
Just heard the sad news that the great Rip Torn has passed away. Rip was a class act. He was an incredible actor. One of the greats. A true legend. I am proud to have worked with him and to have known him. Rest in peace Rip.
— Tom Green (@tomgreenlive) July 10, 2019
Rip made his movie debut in 1957 film Time Limit opposite Richard Widmark, and was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Marsh Turner in 1983’s Cross Creek.
In his early career he faced controversy when he was replaced by Jack Nicholson before shooting began on 1969 biker movie Easy Rider.
He later said: “Word got around that I was difficult and unreliable.
“Unreliable! In all my years in the theatre I have never missed a performance.”
As well as his movie work, Rip – who adopted the name as a child – was known for his portrayal of Artie the producer on The Larry Sanders Show, for which he earned six Emmy Award nominations and he won one in 1996.
Comedian Seth MacFarlane also paid tribute, tweeting: “Rip Torn always made me laugh. Artie and Bob Diamond were two utterly unforgettable characters.”
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