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Character Actor & Theater Veteran Richard Libertini Dies at 82


The New York Times reports that comedic character actor Richard Libertini passed away on Thursday, January 7th following a 2-year battle with cancer. He was 82. The actor starred in the Woody Allen-penned segment of Broadway's RELATIVELY SPEAKING from 2011-12.

Libertini was an original cast member of the THE MAD SHOW, a 1966 Off-Broadway musical-comedy produced by MAD Magazine. His first film appearances were in The Night They Raided Minsky's (1968), Don't Drink the Water (1969) and Catch-22 (1970).

Two of his more memorable film roles came in the comedies Fletch (1985), in which he played Chevy Chase's character's doubting editor, a role he repeated in the 1989 sequel Fletch Lives, and The In-Laws (1979), in which he played General Garcia, an insane Latin-American dictator whose closest advisor was a cartoon face drawn on his own hand a la Senor Wences. He portrayed Nosh, an electronics expert who is the childhood best friend of Burt Reynolds's character, in Sharky's Machine (1981).

He also played a traveling vaudevillian in Terence Malick's Days of Heaven (1978), the greengrocer George W. Geezil in Robert Altman's Popeye (1980), a Hispanic priest in Best Friends (1982), the servant Giuseppe in Unfaithfully Yours (1984), spiritual advisor Prahka Lasa ("Back in Bowl!") in All of Me (1984), the bandit Dijon in Disney's animated feature film DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp (1990), and a rabbi in Lethal Weapon 4 (1998).

On television, Libertini was a series regular in the first season of Soap as The Godfather; he guest starred in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Accession" as a Bajoran called Akorem Laan, who believes himself to be the Emissary; and most recently, he appeared in the Sonny with a Chance episode "Dakota's Revenge" as Izzy, an insane mechanic. He also voiced Wally Llama on Animaniacs, and starred in three short-lived sitcoms: Family Man (1988), in which he played a middle-aged comedy writer who married a much younger woman and became a father late in life; The Fanelli Boys (1990-1991), in which he played an Italian priest; and Pacific Station (1991-1992), in which he played a police detective.

In September 2008, Libertini appeared on the TV show Supernatural. His final film role was that of a fisherman in the 2011 film Dolphin Tale. From October 2011 through January 2012, Libertini appeared on Broadway as a rabbi in "Honeymoon Motel," the Woody Allen-penned segment of RELATIVELY SPEAKING. [Source]

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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