Tony Award nominee Rip Torn, who originated the role of Tom Junior in the original Broadway production of Tennessee Williams’ Sweet Bird of Youth, has died at age 88 at his home in Lakeville, Connecticut.
Torn made his Broadway debut understudying the role of Brick in the 1955 Broadway premiere of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, subsequently taking over the role. He earned a Tony Award nomination for Sweet Bird of Youth in 1960 and went on to reprise his performance in the screen adaptation.
Torn also appeared in the Broadway productions of Daughter of Silence, Strange Interlude, Blues for Mr. Charlie, The Cuban Thing, Dance of Death, The Glass Menagerie, Mixed Couples, Anna Christie, and The Young Man from Atlanta.
He also directed the Broadway premiere of Jerome Kilty’s Look Away, which closed on its January 7, 1973, opening night after playing 24 previews.
Torn’s numerous screen appearances include his Emmy-winning performance as Artie in the acclaimed HBO series, The Larry Sanders Show, as well as Men in Black, Defending Your Life, and voicing Zeus in the Disney animated feature Hercules. He received an Oscar nomination for Cross Creek in 1983.
Torn was married to actor Ann Wedgeworth, with whom he had a daughter, Danae Torn. He later married actress Geraldine Page, and they had one daughter, Angelica Page, and twin sons, Tony and Jon Torn. He had two children with actor Amy Wright, Katie and Claire Torn. He is also survived by his sister Patricia Alexander and his four grandchildren: Elijah, Tana, Emeris, and Hannah.