Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Famed character actor Peter Boyle has died. I believe I encountered his horny Frankenstein creation in the Mel Brooks classic before I'd even heard of Boris Karloff. And although I never really got into Everybody Loves Raymond, Boyle's amusing geezer persona on that show was a great antidote to Romano's detestable whine.

I might be exaggerating, but it certainly feels like I ran into Boyle at nearly every major movie premiere I attended over the past year. As far as I could tell, the guy was mighty affable and understand the importance of going out for a good time. During our brief chat before an exclusive MoMA screening of Thank You For Smoking--I had been waiting for Robert Duvall, but publicists ushered him away, so I randomly started up with Pete-- I asked him where audiences could catch his next performance.

"The Santa Clause 3," he said, his wizened frow rising up two puffy eyebrows. Then he raised his pitch ever so slightly, simultaneously casting an aura of mystery and deflating it with just a tinge of cynicism. "I play Father Time..."

"So what else are you working on?" I asked, a little creeped out despite his intriguing delivery.

The response was instantaneous. "My life!" he said, his arms rising up in a mock messianic fervor. "I'm working on my life..." And then he drifted off to join the crowd. If that work is done, the movies tell the tale.


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