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BrownShoes

Rip Torn

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I just heard that Rip has now left us. He was 88.

He was great. Lived with Amy Wright for years, and she is almost as remarkable an actress as any.

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Loved the guy.  Seen him in several flicks before learning who he was.  He was in an episode of COMBAT and I never heard of him before, but the "before/after" nature of the name amused me.  

Became a sort of fan in the early '70's after seeing a movie called PAYDAY in which he played the part of a boozing, pill popping country singer.  He seemed to add something to any film he was in.  

And many don't know it was RIP sitting next to Tony Franciosa towards the end of A FACE IN THE CROWD in the part of Lonesome's suggested replacement BARRY MILLS who says, "I'm just a country boy."  ;)

Rest in peace Elmore.  You did good!  :) 

Sepiatone

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Rip Torn, to the best of my memory, was once in my high school cafeteria when I was a student. This would have been the late '80s. The principal and several other dignitaries were showing him around. I asked a teacher who he was. This was before he had a big career resurgence with The Larry Sanders Show and Men in Black. Not that he was totally obscure to people in the know, I guess. He would have just had an Oscar nomination a few years before, but not in a movie I'd ever seen or heard of. When the teacher said his name, I think I got him confused with Rip Taylor, the really flamboyant comedian whose whole bit was running around throwing confetti on everyone. Somehow, he was all over TV in the '80s. 

Anyway, the teacher thought maybe Torn had gone to that high school, and that's why he was there. I don't think that was the case, actually, but it's possible his father went to my high school (though the high school had moved across town in the interim, so it wasn't the same building). His father had been an agriculturalist who served on some sort of local community council for the area and who's been credited with inventing the idea that eating black eyed peas (in which he was invested) on New Year's Day brings luck. That's probably not a universal concept, but it's still a big urban legend in my part of the world. The Torn family had moved out of my town before Rip was born, I think.

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Torn was certainly never shy at accepting roles in which he played the more unlikable sort anyway, and then doing an excellent job of making those characters memorable with his intensity.

(...a terrific actor...R.I.P.)

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I really dug him as the bad guy in The Cincinnati Kid. Always recognized him in every movie he was in after that one and thought of him as one of the great under-rateds.

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I really liked him in Heartland-a fine movie that I have not seen in years.

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I tried to look back and see just when Torn had his big 80's-90's mainstream comeback, and had completely forgotten him as a very effective, if low-rent, evil-overlord fantasy villain in the under-appreciated The Beastmaster (1982).

He was already typecast as the jolly-company-line bureaucrat by the time he played Albert Brooks' unhelpful heavenly defense-attorney in Defending Your Life (1991), and when "The Larry Sanders Show" came along a year later, it stuck.

(It's nice to see this is the only obit so far that hasn't mentioned Zeus from Disney's "Hercules", and when 90's Disney casts you to type, consider it official.)

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He was famously married to Geraldine Page.

They lived in a house that was called " Torn Page".

They had three children, I believe.

I saw them together on-stage in a double bill at The Public Theater.

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His early TV work was especially powerful: The Untouchables, Route 66, Thriller, Naked City, D. Kildare.

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The movie Summer Rental is one of my family's favorite films.  Torn plays Scully the proprietor of the local seafood restaurant that John Candy and family end up visiting.  Scully serves the family his "catch of the day," i.e. frozen seafood dinners.  

Later though, Scully and the other men at the restaurant team up with John Candy and his family to enter the local regatta and beat snooty Richard Crenna who apparently wins the race every year.

My family and I have seen Summer Rental so many times, that like The Long, Long Trailer, we can recite almost every line of dialogue. 

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R.I.P. Mostly remember from TV but A Face In The Crowd, and Men In Black.

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We just recently watched an episode of Columbo with Rip Torn, and he was great as the jeweler.

Rest in peace.

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also see  sweet bird of youth, cross creek, extreme prejudice

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You have to wonder how Jack Nicholson must feel about Rip. Nicholson laboured for years as a b-movie actor through the 60's and it was because Rip couldn't get along with Dennis Hopper (who was so squirelly he actually pulled a knife on Rip) when cast as George Hanson for Easy Rider that Nicholson ended up in the role.

That movie would propel Nicholson into the 70's with an Oscar nomination under his belt, and with the following film Five Easy Pieces being a huge hit, Nicholson would become not only an A-list actor forever after, but, in fairly short order, a genuine superstar.

If Rip and Hopper had gotten along, would Jack have ever become what he has become?

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His "Little Brains" bit in Defending Your Life is priceless. He was unique and will be missed!

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