Rip Torn dead – Men In Black and Dodgeball star dies at home aged 88
ACTOR Rip Torn has died at the age of 88, his publicist confirmed this morning.
The wildman stage and screen legend – who starred in Men In Black and Dodgeball – passed away at home in Lakeville, Connecticut.
He had his wife Amy Wright and daughters Katie Torn and Angelica Page by his side as he died following an unspecified illness.
Rip Torn – a free-spirited Texan who overcame his quirky name to become a distinguished actor – had a career spanning seven decades.
He won an Emmy late in his career for his comedy turn on TV's The Larry Sanders Show.
Born Elmore Rual Torn in Temple, Texas, the actor adopted the name Rip in his boyhood – following the tradition of his father and uncle.
REFUSED TO CHANGE NICKNAME
It was the subject of endless ridicule during his early days as a stage actor in New York.
Fellow drama students urged him to change it – but he stubbornly refused.
Torn made his film debut in 1957 as a former prisoner of war who breaks down at a court-martial in Time Limit.
Other film credits included Sweet Bird of Youth, Critics Choice and The Cincinnati Kid.
His career on stage and screen spanned seven decades, ranging from an early career of dark, threatening roles to iconic comedic performances later in life.
But his hell-raising persona often landed him in scrapes – famously scrapping with filmmaker and writer Norman Mailer on camera.
He also had a fight on the set of 1969 classic Easy Rider that resulted in him being sacked for Jack Nicholson.
In 2010, Torn was arrested for breaking into a Connecticut bank at night carrying a loaded gun.
Reports suggested he was drunk and mistook the bank for his home – and fell asleep inside.
Torn was married three times and had six children – including successful stage actor Angelica.
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