Rip Torn Cause of Death Revealed

Actor Rip Torn died earlier this year after a years-long battle with Alzheimer's disease, his death certificate indicates. The Emmy Award winner died at his Connecticut home at the age of 88 in July "due to (or as a consequence of) Alzheimer's dementia," according to his death certificate, which was published by TMZ. The documents says he was diagnosed "years" before his death.

Torn was buried at a cemetery in Poughkeepsie, New York, a few days after his death, the certificate says.

Best known for his role as Artie on HBO's The Larry Sanders Show — for which he was nominated for six Emmys (and took home one) — Torn was also nominated for an Oscar for famously portraying the hard-drinking father Marsh opposite Mary Steenburgen in the 1984 Martin Ritt drama Cross Creek.

His career spanned decades after he made his debut in the 1956 film Baby Doll, including memorable roles in the Men In Black franchise as well as in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. Fans also remember his roles in TV shows including Will & Grace and 30 Rock.

At the time of his death, a representative for the actor said that he was surrounded by his wife Amy Wright and daughters Katie Torn and Angelica Page at the time of his passing.

For The Larry Sanders Show, which also starred Garry Shandling as a neurotic late-night talk show host, Torn was nominated for the Emmy for Supporting Actor every year the show ran (1992-98). The Hollywood Reporter writes that Torn's role of Artie was based on Fred De Cordova, the longtime producers of Johnny Carson's The Tonight Show.

The part "was written to be a straight man," the actor recalled in 2011. "But people were saying, 'God, Rip is getting all those laughs. Who ever thought that Rip could be funny? Just everybody that knows him.'"

"With Rip, he came in the first time, and his agent said he wouldn't read," Shandling, who died in March 2016, told the outlet of the casting in 2012. "Weeks later, it was just him and me in a room with no one else, and I said to Rip, 'Could we read half of this together?' And he said, 'I don't want to read.' I said, 'That's totally fine,' and I pushed it to the side of the table.

"We talked for less than another minute, and he reached over and took the page, and he starts the scene. It's like trying to describe a good date to a friend the next day. I had to say to HBO and everybody else, 'Honestly, this is the best sex I have had.'"

Torn was nominated for a Tony award in 1960 for playing Thomas J. Finley in Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth, and also played William Jefferson Slade in The Cincinnati Kid in 1965.


Torn is survived by wife Amy Wright, daughters Katie Torn and Angelica Page, sister Patricia Alexander and four ground kids: Elijah, Tana, Emeris and Hannah.