Torn, a Texas native, got his start in show business in the mid 1950s and was nominated for an Oscar for his supporting role as Marsh in 1983's Cross Creek. In 1996, he won his first and only Primetime Emmy for his performance as Artie in The Larry Sanders Show; Torn was nominated five additional times for his work on the series. The actor, whose husky baritone voice and gift for deadpan were completely unique, also notched three more Emmy nominations for his appearance in the 1985 true-crime miniseries The Atlanta Child Murders, his guest role in Chicago Hope, and for his guest role as Don Geiss in NBC's hit comedy series 30 Rock.
On the silver screen, Torn was known for his work in films like Payday, Defending Your Life, Men In Black, and Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. He was also an accomplished stage actor, earning a Tony nomination in 1960 for his turn as Thomas J. Finley, Jr. in Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth.
The actor reportedly passed away peacefully in his Connecticut home in the company of his wife, actress Amy Wright, and two daughters.
The news of Torn's death has inspired an outpouring of support from former co-stars and fans across the Hollywood community for his distinct contributions to the world of TV, cinema, and comedy as a whole.
Rip Torn was incredible. His work on The Larry Sanders Show was hysterical but nothing is better than the way he says "Big Bear" in Defending Your Life. I still laugh just thinking about it.— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) July 10, 2019
Just heard the sad news that the great Rip Torn has passed away. Rip was a class act. He was an incredible actor. One of the greats. A true legend. I am proud to have worked with him and to have known him. Rest in peace Rip.— Tom Green (@tomgreenlive) July 10, 2019
Rip Torn, I spent time on a couple of sets with him. I knew his wife Ann Wedgeworth she played my mom twice in different projects.She was just wonderful.Our younger generation of actors may not know of Rip or Ann but they should. Rip as unique an actor as any1 could ever hope 2b. pic.twitter.com/zBgMf9kea5— Vincent D'Onofrio (@vincentdonofrio) July 10, 2019
Rip Torn always made me laugh. Artie and Bob Diamond were two utterly unforgettable characters.— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) July 10, 2019
I feel extremely lucky that I once got to be in the same movie as the incomparable Rip Torn. He is at the height of his powers in this classic Warner Bros film "Payday." They don't make em like Rip anymore. pic.twitter.com/p1cPauD3sL— Rob Schneider (@RobSchneider) July 10, 2019
Worked with Rip Torn. So funny, original and intense. Favorite line of his from "Larry Sanders": You're like a Greek God, Larry. Part man, part desk!— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) July 10, 2019
I was lucky enough to work with Rip Torn when I was ten. I had no idea how much he had done, just that he was a nice and interesting guy. What a life.— Mara "Get Rid of the Nazis" Wilson (@MaraWilson) July 10, 2019
Looking back on decades of Rip Torn's work and can't think of a single performance that could have been bettered by another actor. One of a kind. RIP.— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) July 10, 2019
As a young filmmaker I was blown away by Rip Torn's performance in PAYDAY. We became friends working together on THE BEASTMASTER. I'll always look back fondly on meeting up at his little crash pad for lunches in Malibu- and the great Hollywood stories he'd tell. RIP dear friend. pic.twitter.com/oE4e1j566S— Don Coscarelli (@DonCoscarelli) July 10, 2019
R.I.P Rip Torn. He was so great in Defending Your Life. I'll miss you Rip, you were a true original.— Albert Brooks (@AlbertBrooks) July 10, 2019
Oh my god Rip Torn died. There are no words for how much his performance as Artie in the Larry Sanders show means to me. No words. An insurmountable talent. A total force of nature. Heartbroken.— Morgan Evans (@totallymorgan) July 10, 2019
A fond farewell to veteran character actor Rip Torn, gone at 88, a man who gave as good as he got, and then some.— Marshall Julius (@MarshallJulius) July 10, 2019
"Never think you're better than anyone else, but don't let anyone treat you like you're worse than they are." pic.twitter.com/zCpEG2AYhY