Actor Ron Silver, 62, Dies Of Cancer
'West Wing' Alum Battles Disease For 2 Years
POSTED: Sunday, March 15, 2009
NANCY OSTERTAG/Getty Images
NEW YORK -- Actor Ron Silver has died in New York City after a two-year battle with esophageal cancer.
The Creative Coalition Executive Director Robin Bronk said the 62-year-old, who co-founded the nonprofit, died peacefully in his sleep with his family around him early Sunday morning.
Silver won a Tony Award as a take-no-prisoners Hollywood producer in David Mamet's "Speed-the-Plow" and did a political about-face from loyal Democrat to Republican activist after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Silver earned an Emmy nomination for a recurring role as a slick strategist for liberal President Jed Bartlet on "The West Wing." And Silver himself had a long history of balancing acting with left-leaning social and political causes.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Actor Ron Silver, 62, Dies Of Cancer - Entertainment News Story - KSAT San Antonio
Last edited by Sparkle; 03-15-09 at 10:53 PM.
Posted March 16, 2009 | 10:57 AM (EST)
Ron Silver, Remembered - by Ben Stiller
Ron Silver got me drunk when I was 12 years old. My 16 year old sister and I were hanging at his West Hollywood pad with our parents, Jerry and Anne, and Ron's wife at the time, Lynn. Ron and my mom were both semi-regulars on the sitcom Rhoda. Ron played Gary Levy, Rhoda's swinging single neighbor, and my mom was Sally Gallagher, her swinging stewardess friend.
Ron knew we were bored and asked if I wanted a little vodka in my Coke. Amy had some too. She also had a huge crush on Ron... because he was cool. We had a great time. Nothing too crazy. I didn't end up an alky, and things worked out ok... and I always loved Ron for that. He treated us like people, even though we weren't yet.
Through the years I looked up to him as an actor, his cool Jewish intensity and humor were able to take him from sitcoms to action movie heavies.... and his intelligence and charisma from David Rabe to Aaron Sorkin dialog...and he was so good at all of it.
10 years ago two writers from Milwaukee named Rob Schrab and Dan Harmon wrote a TV pilot called Heat Vision and Jack. It was a Six Million Dollar Man/Knight Rider inspired series about an astronaut played by Jack Black who flew too close to the sun on a mission, so when it was daylight he was the smartest man in the world, and when the sun set he was normal again. Owen Wilson was the voice of his talking motorcycle.
And the villain of the piece was Ron Silver as himself -- Ron Silver the actor, bad guy from Time Cop, but that was just his cover -- in actuality he was the head of NASA, which in this reality was an evil organization trying to take over the world. Weirdly, it didn't get picked up. But Ron was genius in it, playing it as straight as could be. I hope some people YouTube it, because it showed what a great sense of humor he had. I never got caught up in his politics. I just always loved him as a person and a talent. I know he struggled over the last couple of years, and I can only believe he is in a better place now. He will truly be missed.
Ben Stiller: Ron Silver, Remembered
Posted March 16, 2009 | 07:18 PM (EST)
Mourning the Death of Ron Silver - by Alec Baldwin
I want to offer a post to mourn the death of actor Ron Silver.
Back in 1988, I was asked to join the advocacy group The Creative Coalition, a collection of entertainment industry activists who were committed to issues such as federal funding of the arts, reproductive rights, First Amendment issues, gun control and campaign finance reform, to name a few.
The group had been formed by former HBO head Michael Fuchs, Blair Brown, Christopher Reeve, Susan Sarandon and Silver, who served as the group's first president.
On an Amtrak train trip to DC, Silver began to tutor me on the methods that he, and the group, believed were the more effective ways to lobby the Congress on behalf of the issues we were focused on. I learned a lot of what I know today from Ron. Study, learn your opponents' stances, have the cover ready for whatever fact, opinion or response they throw back at you. We had some real successes fighting on behalf of the National Endowment for the Arts back then. Some would say that the work of Ron Silver, along with Bob Lynch at Americans for the Arts and the coordinated efforts of numerous other arts groups from around the country, actually saved the NEA itself when it was in the real jeopardy during the Gingrich years.
Ron Silver was a great actor on stage, film and television. A Tony award winner for the original Broadway production of David Mamet's Speed the Plow, Silver' s intensity and intellectual forcefulness were on display in all of his roles.
In the wake of 9/11, Silver transformed himself from a liberal darling to a libertarian antagonist to many of his former political allies. He supported Giuliani for president and attended the Republican convention as an honored guest. Some shook their heads in wonder. Others knew that Ron's was a mind that was always seeking, no matter what the cost to his career or social status.
Rest in peace, Ron. A great actor, great thinker, great father and great friend.
Alec Baldwin: Mourning the Death of Ron Silver
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