Rip Torn Fans Mourn 'Dodgeball' Star's Death

Men in Black and Dodgeball fans are mourning Rip Torn, who died at the age of 88 Thursday afternoon at his home in Lakeville, Connecticut. Torn's fans took to social media to memorialize The Larry Sanders Show actor, with many sharing their favorite roles of his throughout the years.

A representative for Torn confirmed his death, adding that he was surrounded by his wife Amy Wright and daughters Katie Torn and Angelica Page at the time of his passing.

Famously nominated for an Oscar for portraying the hard-drinking father Marsh opposite Mary Steenburgen in the 1984 Martin Ritt drama Cross Creek, Torn was also known for his portrayal of producer Artie on The Larry Sanders Show, for which he won the 1996 Emmy for Supporting Actor. The HBO series, which also starred Garry Shandling as a neurotic late-night talk show host, ran from 1992-98, with Torn receiving an Emmy nomination every year. The Hollywood Reporter writes that 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.'"

rip-torn_getty-J. Vespa : Contributor
(Photo: J. Vespa / Contributor, Getty)

A few years after Larry Sanders, 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.


He 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 grandkids: Elijah, Tana, Emeris and Hannah.