13 December 2006

Rest well, big guy

Actor Peter Boyle died Tuesday in New York, aged 71.

Most recently, Boyle was known as the crotchety father on the television comedy series Everybody loves Raymond.

Boyle gained early notice as the Robert Redford's campaign manager in every political junkie's favourite movie, The Candidate.

He followed this with a string of smaller parts before being cast against type as the Creature in Mel Brook's Young Frankenstein, a send-up of monster horror films from the 1930s. At left, Boyle reacts as his thumb is set on fire by a blind hermit, played by Gene Hackman in an uncreditted cameo.

Boyle's career was a mixture of television and cinematic films as well as episodic television dramas and situation comedies. X-Files fans will recognize Boyle as Clyde Bruckman. Boyle's character could foretell how people would die. He played Joe McCarthy in a made-for-television account of the life of the Wisconsin senator and his anti-communist witchhunt. Boyle played the corrupt mining boss in the science fiction western Outland with Sean Connery.

In the 1989 comedy The Dream Team, Boyle played a psychiatric patient with delusions of being Christ yet who still retained a New Yorker's natural earthy assertiveness. The part was typical of the quirky roles Boyle sometimes took throughout his career. Following quotes are courtesy of IMDB:

I am the Lord they God. Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me. Out of my way, asshole.

...

Jack: Stop! Who dares to tow the van of the living Christ?
Driver: The city of New York, Tarzan! $50 for the violation, $75 for the tow and $20 a day for storage.
Jack: [Skyward] Father, forgive us for we have sinned! We parked our car in a forbidden zone!

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