'Men in Black' Actor Rip Torn Dead At 88

July 10, 2019

(WBBM) - Actor Rip Torn -- who played a late-night television producer on the innovative HBO comedy "The Larry Sanders Show" -- has died at the age of 88, published reports say.

Torn, born Feb. 6, 1931 in Temple, Texas, died peacefully at his home in Lakeville, Connecticut, the Hollywood Reporter said Tuesday. Publicist Rick Miramontez told The Associated Press the actor passed away with his wife, Amy Wright, and daughters Katie Torn and Angelica Page by his side.

No cause of death was given.

Although known for his comedic chops on "Sanders," Torn was a much-admired dramatic actor whose personal life sometimes rivaled his onscreen antics. Torn famously was fired from "Easy Rider" after an altercation with co-star Dennis Hopper. The two actually disagreed on what went down. Jack Nicholson stepped in for Torn and literally rode that film to major success.

Torn, an experienced stage actor, made his feature film debut in the late-1950s. His film credits include "The Cincinnati Kid" (1965); "The Man Who Fell to Earth" (1976); "Men in  Black" (1997); and "Dodgeball" (2004).

But it was Torn's turn as Arthur, or Artie, on "The Larry Sanders Show" that brought him belated mainstream success. He played the protective producer of a neurotic late-night talk show host, Larry Sanders (Gary Shandling). The groundbreaking show ran from 1992 to 1998.

Torn was the cousin of film actress Sissy Spacek.