Luke Askew – Character Actor Dead at 80
He may be best known as the hitchhiker who took Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda to the hippy commune in EASY RIDER (1969) or as “Boss Paul” in COOL HAND LUKE (1967) but my favorite Luke Askew moment was when, as the scary “Automatic Slim”, he shoved William Devane’s hand down the garbage disposal in ROLLING THUNDER (1976). Tall, intense, and imposing, Askew was often cast as villains and in westerns such as WILL PENNEY (1968), PAT GARRET AND BILLY THE KID, and THE CULPEPPER CATTLE COMPANY (both 1973). Askew did a ton of TV work including a most recent stint as Hollis Green on Big Love. I don’t recall him ever in a leading role but he was a familiar, dependable character actor who I always enjoyed seeing on screen. Askew died at his home in Oregon last Monday at age 80 and I have not yet heard the cause of death.