Last month, a couple of fantastic character actors went to the great green room in the sky. Because they weren’t A-listers, I only recently found out about their deaths. I’ve always gravitated toward the sidemen instead of the leading actors, and admire those folks who can immerse themselves in a role so fully… as opposed to, say, a Tom Cruise, where he’s basically playing Tom Cruise in every movie.
First up on the “men of character” honor roll is David Huddleston. And as is typical of character actors, when you say their name most folks will say “who?”. But when you see his face, you’ll say, “Oh, that guy!”
Perhaps his most famous role was as the real Big Lebowski.
Next up is Jack Riley. Better known as Elliot Carlin, the most irascible and neurotic patient ever of Bob Newhart.
But he also was a guest star on a ton of TV shows from the 60s through the 90s.. and charmed a new generation of fans as the voice of Stu Pickles in Rugrats.
Here’s to you, David and Jack, two regular dudes who did yeoman’s work outside the spotlight.