Veteran American actor David Huddleston has passed away at the age of 85.
Huddleston, who famously played the title role in the Coen Brothers’ 1998 cult classic The Big Lebowski, is survived by his wife Sarah Koeppe, who said he died on Tuesday at their Santa Fe home following a battle with heart and kidney disease.
Huddleston’s other well-known film roles included the title character in 1985’s Santa Claus: The Movie, Olson Johnson in 1974’s Blazing Saddles and the Judge in 2005’s The Producers.
On TV, he guested in many popular US series including The West Wing, Gilmore Girls, Murder, She Wrote, Colombo and The Wonder Years, for which he received an Emmy nomination.
“He was never the star,” his wife told the Santa Fe New Mexican. “He got to work with or become friends with all kinds of people, including stars, and it always amazed him. This was a kid who grew up without electricity and running water in his home until he was 10 or 12 and he was so amazed as he looked back at what happened in his life.”