Tuesday, August 9, 2016


RIP to the wonderful David Huddleston, passed on at 85

One of my all-time favorite character actors, the portly, imposing Huddleston had a tinge of shadiness when he played good guys, and was oddly lovable when he played bad guys. His acerbic line readings as cranky town father Olsen Johnson in Blazing Saddles are standards in the Moorhead family, especially his conciliatory “Aw, prairie shit” at the moment he at last overcomes his racism.

He’ll be remembered, rightly, for that role, and as the title character in The Big Lebowski, and as Kevin’s grandfather on The Wonder Years, and as a gruffly honorable Republican senator on The West Wing, and also, alas, for seeming somehow miscast in the title role of 1985’s Santa Claus—The Movie. He ought to be more remembered for his supporting turn in Ted Kotcheff’s fascinating, neglected 1974 western Billy Two Hats, as the marksman whose gabbiness wears on the patience of sheriff Jack Warden as the two of them stalk outlaws Gregory Peck and Desi Arnaz, Jr.

No comments:

Post a Comment