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Rip Torn 6th February 1931 – 9th July 2019

 

 

I remember being very young taking note of Rip Torn when he played Nixon in the great TV series Blind Ambition – he had a face and affect you would call striking. Then I saw him in a funny nun movie with Glenda Jackson. And I suppose later I can recall linking him with the guy in Nic Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth with Paul Newman’s opposite number in Sweet Bird of Youth, although that was where he forged a more meaningful relationship with wife Geraldine Page (he rejoiced in the name on their doorbell – Torn Page). Terry Southern wrote the role of Hanson for him in Easy Rider but after Dennis Hopper pulled a knife on him in a restaurant, Torn was out and the role made Jack Nicholson’s name. But it was in the Nineties, as Artie the irascible showrunner on The Larry Sanders Show that he truly wormed his way into my heart. That and the Men in Black series. It was his time – when he did the voice of Zeus in Disney’s Hercules he had a parallel career as a voice actor. He remade his career decade upon decade, making new fans and never losing his singular presence. RIP, Rip.

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About elainelennon

An occasional movie-watching diary.

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