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Rip Torn

Rip TornAKA Elmore Rual Torn, Jr.

Born: 6-Feb-1931
Birthplace: Temple, TX
Died: 9-Jul-2019
Location of death: Lakeville, CT
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Arthur on The Larry Sanders Show

Military service: US Army

Rip Torn is an craggy-faced character actor. He is best known as Artie, the suck-up producer on The Larry Sanders Show, but Torn has been a familiar presence in American movies for almost 50 years. He is a cousin of actress Sissy Spacek.

He was born Elmore Rual Torn, but for obvious reasons friends nicknamed him Rip. He studied animal husbandry at Texas A&M and the University of Texas, and went into acting hoping to save enough money to buy a small ranch. Torn hitchhiked to Hollywood, where he was soon doing odd jobs to pay the rent, but he started landing small roles on TV dramas like The Alcoa Hour and Kraft Television Theater. He studied acting under Lee Strasberg at the Actor's Studio, and had bit parts in a couple of well-regarded late-1950s flicks, Baby Doll and A Face in the Crowd. With a key role in the war crime trial drama Time Limit (the only film directed by Karl Malden), Torn became a respected character actor.

He played Judas in King of Kings, Henry Miller in Tropic of Cancer, a shady anesthesiologist in Coma, a perfectly sleazy Richard M. Nixon in Blind Ambition, a boffo Ronald Reagan in Airplane 2, Albert Brooks's attorney in Defending Your Life, MIB Chief Zed in Men in Black, and a wrench-tossing coach in Dodgeball.

In 1994, Torn sued Dennis Hopper after Hopper went on The Tonight Show and told Jay Leno an anecdote from almost 30 years earlier. As Hopper told it, Torn had auditioned for the role of a pot-smoking lawyer in Easy Rider in 1969, and almost had the part, but when Torn and Hopper went to dinner, they argued and Torn pulled a knife on Hopper. In his lawsuit, Torn agreed on most of the details, but said that it was Hopper who'd pulled a knife on Torn. A judge heard from both sides, and from witnesses who's been at the restaurant, and decided that Hopper's testimony -- or memory -- was wrong. Torn got $475,000 from Hopper, and when Hopper appealed, another judge doubled the award.

He was arrested for drunk driving in 2004, 2006, and 2008, and charged in January 2010 with breaking into a Connecticut bank while carrying a loaded but unregistered handgun. His defense was that he was so drunk, he mistook the bank for his own home.

Wife: Ann Wedgeworth (actress, m. 1956, div. 1961, one daughter)
Daughter: Danae Torn (actress)
Wife: Geraldine Page (actress, m. 1961, d. 1987)
Daughter: Angelica Torn (actress)
Son: Tony Torn (artistic director)
Son: John Torn
Girlfriend: Amy Wright
Daughter: Claire

    High School: Tayler High School, Taylor, TX (1949)
    University: Texas A&M University

    Sigma Chi Fraternity
    Freemasonry raised 2005
    Driving While Intoxicated Greenwich Village, NY (13-Jan-2004)
    Driving While Intoxicated North Salem, NY (4-Dec-2006)
    Driving While Intoxicated Salisbury, CT (12-Dec-2008)
    Breaking and Entering Salisbury, CT (29-Jan-2010) pled guilty
    Burglary Salisbury, CT (29-Jan-2010) charge dropped
    Criminal Mischief Salisbury, CT (29-Jan-2010) pled guilty
    Unlawful Possession of a Firearm Salisbury, CT (29-Jan-2010) pled guilty
    Trespassing Salisbury, CT (29-Jan-2010) pled guilty
    People with Funny Names
    Risk Factors: Smoking, Alcoholism

    The Larry Sanders Show Arthur (1992-98)

    The Telephone (22-Jan-1988)

    The Legend of Awesomest Maximus (5-Aug-2011)
    American Cowslip (24-Jul-2009) · Trevor
    Happy Tears (11-Feb-2009) · Joe
    August (22-Jan-2008)
    The Golden Boys (3-Nov-2007) · Capt. Jeremiah Burgess
    Bee Movie (28-Oct-2007) [VOICE]
    Turn the River (17-Oct-2007) · Quinette
    Three Days to Vegas (2007) · Joe Wallace
    Zoom (11-Aug-2006)
    Marie Antoinette (24-May-2006) · Louis XV
    Yours, Mine and Ours (23-Nov-2005) · Commandant Sherman
    The Sisters (23-Apr-2005) · Dr. Chebrin
    Forty Shades of Blue (2005) · Alan James
    Eulogy (15-Oct-2004)
    Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (18-Jun-2004)
    Welcome to Mooseport (20-Feb-2004) · Bert
    Rolling Kansas (24-Jan-2003)
    Love Object (2003) · Novak
    Men in Black II (26-Jun-2002) · Zed
    Freddy Got Fingered (18-Apr-2001)
    Wonder Boys (22-Feb-2000)
    The Insider (5-Nov-1999)
    The Almost Perfect Bank Robbery (22-Sep-1998)
    Senseless (20-Feb-1998) · Randall Tyson
    Men in Black (2-Jul-1997) · Zed
    Hercules (14-Jun-1997) [VOICE]
    Trial and Error (30-May-1997) · Benny Gibbs
    Down Periscope (1-Mar-1996) · Adm. Winslow
    For Better or Worse (18-Feb-1996)
    How to Make an American Quilt (6-Oct-1995) · Arthur
    Canadian Bacon (22-Sep-1995) · Gen. Dick Panzer
    Heart of a Child (9-May-1994)
    Heaven & Hell: North & South, Book III (27-Feb-1994)
    Robocop 3 (7-Jul-1993) · The CEO
    Where the Rivers Flow North (1993)
    Dead Ahead: The Exxon Valdez Disaster (12-Dec-1992)
    Dolly Dearest (Jan-1992) · Karl Resnick
    Beyond the Law (1992)
    My Son Johnny (10-Nov-1991)
    Another Pair of Aces: Three of a Kind (9-Apr-1991) · Capt. Jack Parsons
    Defending Your Life (22-Mar-1991)
    By Dawn's Early Light (19-May-1990)
    Beautiful Dreamers (1990)
    Sweet Bird of Youth (1-Oct-1989)
    Cold Feet (19-May-1989) · Sheriff
    Hit List (3-Mar-1989)
    April Morning (24-Apr-1988) · Solomon Chandler
    Nadine (7-Aug-1987) · Buford Pope
    Extreme Prejudice (24-Apr-1987)
    Beer (30-Aug-1985) · Buzz Beckerman
    Summer Rental (9-Aug-1985) · Scully
    The Atlanta Child Murders (10-Feb-1985)
    The Execution (14-Jan-1985)
    City Heat (7-Dec-1984)
    Songwriter (14-Oct-1984)
    Flashpoint (31-Aug-1984) · Sheriff Wells
    Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (19-Aug-1984) · Big Daddy
    Misunderstood (30-Mar-1984)
    Cross Creek (May-1983)
    Airplane II: The Sequel (10-Dec-1982) · Kruger
    The Blue and the Gray (14-Nov-1982)
    Jinxed! (22-Oct-1982) · Harold Benson
    The Beastmaster (20-Aug-1982)
    A Stranger Is Watching (22-Jan-1982)
    First Family (25-Dec-1980)
    Sophia Loren: Her Own Story (26-Oct-1980)
    One Trick Pony (3-Oct-1980)
    Heartland (Feb-1980)
    The Seduction of Joe Tynan (17-Aug-1979) · Sen. Kittner
    Blind Ambition (20-May-1979)
    Coma (6-Jan-1978) · Dr. George
    The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover (Dec-1977)
    Nasty Habits (10-Oct-1977)
    The Man Who Fell to Earth (28-May-1976) · Nathan Bryce
    Birch Interval (2-May-1976)
    Attack on Terror: The FBI vs. the Ku Klux Klan (20-Feb-1975)
    Crazy Joe (15-Feb-1974)
    Slaughter (16-Aug-1972)
    Payday (1972)
    Tropic of Cancer (27-Feb-1970)
    Maidstone (1970)
    Coming Apart (26-Oct-1969)
    Sol Madrid (7-Feb-1968)
    Beyond the Law (1968)
    Beach Red (3-Aug-1967)
    You're a Big Boy Now (9-Dec-1966)
    One Spy Too Many (28-Feb-1966)
    The Cincinnati Kid (15-Oct-1965) · Slade
    Critic's Choice (13-Apr-1963) · Dion Kapakos
    Hero's Island (13-Jul-1962) · Nicholas Gates
    Sweet Bird of Youth (21-Mar-1962) · Thomas J. Finley, Jr.
    King of Kings (11-Oct-1961) · Judas
    Pork Chop Hill (29-May-1959) · Lt. Russel
    Time Limit (23-Oct-1957) · Lt. Miller

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