The Playgoer: Ron Silver died?

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Ron Silver died?

Throat cancer at 62.

I always found him a fun, engaging actor, though perhaps limited in type. In short, great at playing jerks. Highlight--Speed the Plow, of course!

But I'm surprised getting no ink in his obits is his strange brief involvement with the premiere of the now-cult play, David Hirson's La Bete. Not to speak ill of the dead, but it was a weird story. Since this highly esoteric play--a Moliere spoof written in rhymed couplets--was opening directly on Broadway (this was back in 1991) producers needed a star. And since Silver had just won the Tony for Speed the Plow--who would be better to play a 17th century foppish French comedien than... Ron Silver!

He left the show unceremoniously out of town and the play limped into New York, closing just weeks later.

The other most notorious thing Silver will be remembered for amongst his fellow actors was his political activism, especially his abrupt turn from Mr Lefty to avid George Bush supporter after 9/11, when he went all Super-Jew and became a "security voter."

For what it's worth, in the NYT obit Silver's brother reveals Ron did return to the fold and vote for Obama in the end. And in this rare recent TV appearance (hoarse and chemo-shaved) he tells David Frost he has no regrets but still considers himself a liberal, just a hawkish one.

(video via LA Times)

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