Monday, March 16, 2009

Farewell to Ron Silver

Actor Ron Silver died yesterday at the age of 62. Though primarily known for his movie roles, including his dazzling terrier-tenacious Alan Dershowitz in 1990's Reversal of Fortune about the Sunny Van Bulow case, Silver was constantly on the small screen in an amazing variety of roles. From deep drama to sitcom wit, Silver always played on his image -- and real life persona -- as an intelligent, inquisitive and incisive man with more than a little sex appeal thrown in. (Pictured left, Allison Janney and Silver from The West Wing.)

From his early success in the mid-1970s on Rhoda -- and do check out the excellent Rhoda Online fansite for a comprehensive Ron Silver biography -- to appearances on such primetime favorites as The Rockford Files, McMillan and Wife, a co-starring role on Brenda Vaccaro's short-lived Dear Detective series, Silver was all over the tube. He turned up in many TV movies of the time, and in 1980 landed on The Stockard Channing Show for a short ten episodes, then bounced back into features for a major role in the intensely spooky paranormal thriller The Entity with Barbara Hershey and several other films.

Concurrent with his constant movie roles -- Silkwood, Silent Rage, Romancing the Stone -- Silver returned to TV for several episodes of Hill Street Blues, high-profile projects like the mini Kane & Abel and the TVM Billionaire Boys Club, a quartet of episodes of the unusual crime drama Wiseguy (with Jerry Lewis), TVMs Kissinger and Nixon (as Kissinger) and Almost Golden: The Jessica Savitch Story, the mini A Woman of Independent Means opposite Sally Field, a co-starring role on the medical drama Chicago Hope, a co-starring role on the comedy Veronica's Closet, the entertaining HBO movie When Billie Beat Bobby about the tennis rivalry of Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King (with Silver as Riggs and Holly Hunter as King), and so many more. 2001 brought his bigscreen role in Ali, and soon after he starred in the TV series Skin and also joined the cast of the long-running and acclaimed White House-set drama The West Wing.

Ron Silver brought an intensity to every role he played, and he was also a committed and informed citizen of the world. His intelligent presence will be missed on television and at the movies.

For another good look at his career, check out Barbara Robertson's The Ron Silver Page , this infosite, his IMDB career credits, and his bio on Wikipedia.

3 comments:

Jane said...

I am saddened by the passing of Ron Silver. He had an amazing big screen career in addition to all the great TV roles you mention here. My favorite was when he played the Alan Dershowitz character in "Reversal of Fortune". I read that Mr. Silver was hounded in his last few years for supporting the former president. How creepy that an accomplished actor was beaten up by the "PC" police for his political beliefs, even as he struggled to survive cancer. Thanks for remembering him, Lisa!

Lisa said...

There's a terrific remembrance piece by writer Joe Klein available here -- he and Silver were best friends in the true sense of the word. It's here:

http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2009/03/16/ron-silver/

USpace said...

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Nice tribute. God bless Ron Silver, he was a 'Liberal' who came to his senses about Jihadis and brutal Dictators. He knew they would destroy America, and Hollywood if they could. He realized that if America goes down the tubes, then the whole planet is doomed.

You were great Ron! Time Cop, Arrival, Wiseguy, and The West Wing among many were particularly good. Thank you for everything, especially your courage, RIP.
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