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rip ron silver

ron silver, a great character actor who also was heavily involved in political activism on both sides of the aisle, died unday @ age 62. mtv.com:

the 62-year-old tony award-winning actor died on sunday after a two-year battle with esophageal cancer, according to a reuters report.

over more than 30 years in hollywood, the manhattan-born actor became as well-known for his studied political activism and interest in world affairs as he was for his signature roles, such as that of legendary lawyer alan dershowitz in 1990’s "reversal of fortune" and holocaust survivor herman broder in the oscar-nominated 1989 film "enemies: a love story."

in 1989, silver founded the new york-based creative coalition, a nonprofit that helped raise awareness on issues including public education, first amendment rights and advocation of the arts.

though he was a longtime supporter of liberal causes and was a booster of former president bill clinton, following the terror attacks of september 11, 2001, he announced his support for george w. bush and was a featured speaker at the 2004 republican national convention, switching his party affiliation from democrat to independent.

silver was a regular on the faux news network as of late, as well as a frequent guest on chris matthews’ talkfest, w/occasional appearances on the bill maher vanity projects.

he was an amazingly prolific actor; many of us remember him as president bartlett’s campaign manager bruno gianelli on west wing. he was also jerry lewis’ son on the garmet district arc of wise guy (probably the best storyline in that series), and sci-fi geeks will remember his work as the evil senator trying to outwit jean claude van damme in timecop.

trivia buffs will note silver’s film debut was in the sill sketch comedy parody film tunnel vision. but the highlight of his career had to be his tony (and drama critic desk) award for his creation of the slimy hollywood agent in david mamet’s speed-the-plow opposite madonna.

we often disagreed w/mr. silver’s opinions as of late, but we never begrudged him his right to them, nor did we ever waiver in our love of his acting talents. and his liberal bona fides were never in question.

rest in peace, ron silver.

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