Character Actor Ed Lauter Dead at 74

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Ed Lauter was one of my favorite character actors,  one who seemed to be around as long as I can remember. With his height, balding head, and distinctive bearing, Lauter was often cast as cops, toughs and villains.  He was Captain Knaur, the head prison guard  opposite Burt Reynolds in THE LONGEST YARD. He costarred with Charles Bronson four times (BREAKHEART PASS, THE WHITE BUFFALO, DEATH HUNT, and DEATH WISH 3). He acted alongside Clint Eastwood last year in TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE (I was surprised that was the first time the two had performed together). He was in Hitchcock’s FAMILY PLOT and was one of the few highlights of the ’76 version of KING KONG. He even had a nice role as Berenice Bejo’s butler in the Oscar-winning THE ARTIST in 2011. He worked steadily for four decades and was always an asset to whatever film he was in. Lauter died today of mesothelioma, a form of cancer at age 74.


Ed Lauter, a gritty but taciturn character actor whose massive list of film and TV credits include “Leaving Las Vegas,” “The Artist” and “Trouble With the Curve,” died at his home in West Hollywood of mesothelioma on Wednesday. He was 74. The squinty-eyed Lauter, who played a number of sports coaches, military men and sheriffs, had recently played Berenice Bejo’s butler in “The Artist” and a colleague of Clint Eastwood’s in baseball scout pic “Trouble With the Curve.” The actor will last be seen in the 2014 release “The Town That Dreaded Sundown.”….

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  3. Lee Beatty

    October 17, 2013 at 5:01 am

    I met Mr. Lauter while working as an extra on the set of “Mercenaries” with John Ritter. He walked through the crowd without bodyguards, laughing and talking with the extras and showing us pictures of his family. This was a truly nice gentleman, easy-going and not full of himself. He will be remembered for so many roles, but I most remember him as the flustered policeman in the Death Wish series. My condolences to his family. He was an excellent actor and a very nice person. May he rest in peace.

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