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‘Men In Black’ Actor Passes On

Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award-winning actor Rip Torn has died aged 88.

Rip was a character actor best known for roles in Men In Black, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story and TV’s The Larry Sanders Show.

He died on Tuesday afternoon at his home in Lakeville, Connecticut with his wife, Amy Wright, and daughters Katie Torn and Angelica Page by his side.

No cause of death was given.

Texas-born Rip, whose quirky name helped cement his face in the minds of audiences, enjoyed a career spanning seven decades.

Tributes have been paid to Torn, who won an Emmy Award for his work on The Larry Sanders Show and earned the Oscar nomination for 1984 film Cross Creek.

Rip played agency boss Zed in the Men In Black films (Image: Columbia Tristar)

Will Smith, who appeared alongside Torn in two Men In Black films, shared a picture of the pair together on screen, along with the caption: “R.I.P. Rip.”

British sci-fi author Neil Gaiman recalled meeting Torn in 1990 and said he inspired the character of Mr Wednesday in his fantasy novel American Gods.

He tweeted: “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.”

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane cited Torn’s roles as Artie in The Larry Sanders Show and Bob Diamond in 1991 comedy Defending Your Life as among his best work.

He said: “Rip Torn always made me laugh. Artie and Bob Diamond were two utterly unforgettable characters.”

Torn in Dodgeball [Photo: Courtesy]

Alec Baldwin worked with Torn on TV comedy 30 Rock.

He said: “He was a deeply committed, phenomenal actor. See you down the road, Rip. You wonderful madman.”

Actor Albert Brooks tweeted: “R.I.P Rip Torn. He was so great in Defending Your Life. I’ll miss you Rip, you were a true original.”

Freaks And Geeks star John Francis Daley said: “The Larry Sanders Show. Men In Black. Defending Your Life.

“Rip Torn elevated these already excellent things.”

The Hollywood star, whose real name was Elmore Rual Torn, Jr., was nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar in 1984 and won six Emmy Awards during his career.

He made his film debut in 1957 in Time Limit, while other film credits included Sweet Bird of Youth, Critics Choice and The Cincinnati Kid. He also won a Tony during a long and acclaimed Broadway career.

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