Rip Torn Dead: ‘Men in Black’ Actor Dies at 88

Rip Torn Dead: ‘Men in Black’ Actor Dies at 88
Rip Torn is honored at the Texas Film Hall Of Fame Awards at Austin Studios on March 10, 2011 in Austin, Texas. Jay West/WireImage

Rest in peace. Decorated actor Rip Torn died on Tuesday, July 9. He was 88.

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Torn’s reps confirmed to CNN that the Emmy winner died at his Lakeville, Connecticut, home, and his wife, Amy Wright, and daughters Katie Torn and Angelica Page were there with him. His cause of death has not been announced.

Torn, born Elmore Rual Torn Jr., is best known for starring alongside Garry Shandling and Jeffrey Tambor in HBO’s The Larry Sanders Show. The comedic series earned the actor an Emmy win in 1996 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.

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Torn’s acting career had spanned decades. He appeared in comedic films from Men in Black to Dodgeball, but he also tackled more dramatic roles in Cross Creek and Sweet Bird of Youth. He additionally landed recurring roles as Don Geiss on 30 Rock and Lionel Banks on Will & Grace.

Torn’s 1996 Emmy win was not the actor’s sole recognition for his efforts. The nine-time Emmy nominee scored an Oscar nomination within the Best Actor in a Supporting Role category for Cross Creek in 1984. His work in theater was celebrated when he won two Obie Awards: one for Distinguished Direction in 1968’s The Beard and for Distinguished Performance 1967’s The Deer Park. He also earned nods from the Satellite Awards, TCA Awards and the American Comedy Awards.

Will Smith honored his former Men in Black costar with a tribute post on Tuesday. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum, 50, shared a shot of the pair in character as Zed (Torn) and Jay (Smith) in 1997 film. “R.I.P. Rip,” Smith captioned the loving Instagram post.

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Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane tweeted about Torn’s passing on Wednesday, July 10, by mentioning his favorite performances of the late actor’s. “Rip Torn always made me laugh. Artie and Bob Diamond were two utterly unforgettable characters,” the 45-year-old wrote, referencing the late star’s parts in The Larry Sanders Show and 1991’s Defending Your Life.

John Francis Daley, who formerly starred on Bones and Freaks and Geeks, shared to Twitter on Tuesday: “The Larry Sanders Show. Men In Black. Defending Your Life. Rip Torn elevated these already excellent things.”

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

Torn, who was cousins with actress Sissy Spacek and musician David Torn, is survived by his wife, Wright, and his six children: Angelica, Katie, Danae Torn, Tony Torn, Claire Torn and John Torn.

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