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Obit: Veteran Character Actor Ed Lauter (1938-2013), from Hitchcock's 'Family Plot' to 'The Artist' (VIDEO)

Thompson on Hollywood By Joe Leydon | Thompson on Hollywood October 17, 2013 at 1:02PM

Among the most pleasant experiences I have enjoyed in recent years was a long, leisurely lunch with Ed Lauter, one of my all-time-favorite character actors, last November at the Starz Denver Film Festival.
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Joe Leydon, left, and Ed Lauter, right
Joe Leydon, left, and Ed Lauter, right

Among the most pleasant experiences I have enjoyed in recent years was a long, leisurely lunch with Ed Lauter, one of my all-time-favorite character actors, last November at the Starz Denver Film Festival. For the better part of two hours before we engaged in an on-stage, post-screening Q&A after the Denver Fest premiere of Ed Burns' delightful "The Fitzgerald Family Christmas," we chatted about the highlights of our respective careers -- and he was graciously polite enough to indicate he found my anecdotes almost as interesting as his.

Mind you, it wasn't like we were in any sort of "Can you top this?" competition. Because, really, what could I possibly say that could top his account of being cast by Alfred Hitchcock in "Family Plot" after The Master of Suspense spotted him in "The Longest Yard"? Lauter impressed Hitchcock so much that he was set to co-star in "The Short Night," Hitchcock's next film -- the film, alas, Hitchcock didn't live to make.

Lauter passed away October 16 at age 74, leaving behind a body of work that ranges from "The Magnificent Seven Ride!" (1972) and "French Connection II" (1975) to "The Artist" (2011) and "Trouble With the Curve" (2012). 

Read the rest of this article at Moving Picture Blog.

Check out the kooky, Hitchcock-narrated trailer for "Family Plot" below. Lauter makes an appearance at the 1:21 mark:

This article is related to: News, Obit, Ed Lauter, News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.