Rip Torn, 'Dodgeball' and 'Larry Sanders Show' Star, Reportedly Dead at 88

Award-winning actor Rip Torn has passed away at the age of 88. A rep for the actor confirmed the news saying the Larry Sanders Show star passed away Thursday afternoon at his home in Lakeville, Connecticut.

He was surrounded by his wife Amy Wright, and daughters Katie Torn and Angelica Page at the time of his passing.

According to JustJared, Rip won an Emmy for his portrayal of producer Arie on the HBO series. He is also known for his work on the Great White Way. He was also a Tony-animated performer appearing in several Broadway shows.

Torn was famously nominated for an Oscar for portraying the hard-drinking father Marsh opposite Mary Steenburgen in the 1984 Martin Ritt drama Cross Creek. He wowed audiences as Artie on the Larry Sanders Show, also starring Garry Shandling as a neurotic late-night TV talk-show host.

The HBO series ran from 1992-98, with Torn receiving a nomination every year, winning in 1996. The Hollywood Reporter writes the role was based on Fred De Cordova, the longtime producer 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 said he took the role because he owed money to some of his family members. A few years after Larry Sanders ended, Torn had another career highlight on 30 Rock, playing Don Geiss, the CEO of General Electric and Jack Donaghy's (Alec Baldwin) boss. He received another Emmy nomination for the role in 2008.

Among his other beloved roles, Torn played the head of the top secret government organization in the Men in Black films; Patches O'Houlihan in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, and King Looney in The Legend of Awesomest Maximus.


Torn also shined in dramatic roles, receiving a Tony nomination in 1960 for playing Thomas J. Finley in Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth. He also played William Jefferson Slade in The Cincinatti Kid in 1965.

Aside from his immediate family, Torn is survived by sister Patricia Alexander and four grandkids: Elijah, Tana, Emeris and Hannah.