Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated actor Rip Torn has died at the age of 88, his publicist has confirmed.
The actor, known for his work in the Men in Black series and The Larry Sanders Show, passed away on Tuesday afternoon, according to the Associated Press. His wife, Amy Wright, and daughters Katie Torn and Angelica Page were by his side. No cause of death was given.
Rip Torn always made me laugh. Artie and Bob Diamond were two utterly unforgettable characters.
— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) July 10, 2019
I feel extremely lucky that I once got to be in the same movie as the incomparable Rip Torn. He is at the height of his powers in this classic Warner Bros film “Payday.” They don’t make em like Rip anymore. pic.twitter.com/p1cPauD3sL
— Rob Schneider (@RobSchneider) July 10, 2019
The versatile actor, who is the cousin of film icon Sissy Spacek, first kicked off his storied career in the 50s with dark, dramatic performances. After a brief mid-career slump in the late-80s, with a disastrous directorial debut with 1988’s The Telephone, Torn would come back to prominence in the 90s after a pivot to comedic roles.
These included Agent Zed in the Men in Black series, his Emmy-winning role as the hot-tempered Artie on the 1992 HBO sitcom The Larry Sanders Show, and as the voice of Zeus in Disney’s 1997 animated adaptation of Hercules.
His comedic work also extended to the new millennium, including a memorable performance as the wrench-throwing coach in DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story and a recurring role on NBC’s 30 Rock.
See you down the road, Rip.
You wonderful madman.
— HABFoundation (@ABFalecbaldwin) July 10, 2019
Rip Torn in Sweet Bird of Youth. ?
— Dana Delany (@DanaDelany) July 10, 2019
In addition, Torn also garnered an Oscar nomination for his work in the 1983 biopic, Cross Creek, and a Tony Award nomination for his Broadway debut in the 1959 Tennessee Williams play, Sweet Bird of Youth.
Tributes to Torn have poured in on social media from celebrities and fans alike. Among those mourning Torn are Men in Black co-star Will Smith, author Neil Gaiman and Spider-Man: Homecoming co-writer John Francis Daley. Read them below:
I met Rip Torn once, in 1990, on a movie location in NC. "You write science fiction?" he said, teeth in a scary grin. "I was in BEASTMASTER." Then he shook my hand and I ceased to exist for him. That was the start of Mr Wednesday in American Gods. RIP Rip.https://t.co/Fp7fVKtrDp
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) July 10, 2019
The Larry Sanders Show. Men In Black. Defending Your Life.
Rip Torn elevated these already excellent things.
— John Francis Daley (@JohnFDaley) July 10, 2019