Tuesday, December 09, 2008
RIP Robert Prosky
An unrelenting torrent of departures this year now includes the veteran character actor, who died just shy of his 78th birthday. A fixture on the Capitol's theater scene, Prosky was affiliated with Arena Stage from the start of his career, 50 years ago. (He was a two-time Tony nominee on Broadway; I saw him in Michael Frayn's Democracy, and heard him as the voice of the judge in the 12 Angry Men revival, both in the 2004-2005 season.) He made an impressive film debut in Michael Mann's Thief, putting a vise-like squeeze on James Caan after gentle kid gloves early in the picture, then appeared in Mann's The Keep, The Natural, Broadcast News, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Dead Man Walking, among others. (I remember him most fondly as a sozzled horror movie host, done up as Dracula, in Gremlins 2: The New Batch.) And he was a fixture on the tube, on Hill Street Blues, episodes of Cheers and Veronica's Closet (as Kirstie Alley's dad in both), The Practice, and more. No stone unturned for his wide-ranging talent.