Character Actor Ed Lauter Dead at 74


Having starred in over 204 different projects throughout his 42-year career, Ed Lauter was a man whose face we all recognize from somewhere — something he called a "turn actor” (the character who shows up when the story needs to make a major one). Sadly, the Long Beach, N.Y. native died Wednesday from causes relating to this mesothelioma. His publicist Edward Lozzi told The Hollywood Reporter that Lauter had been diagnosed back in May with a terminal form of the cancer most commonly caused by exposure to asbestos.

Most recently, Lauter starred opposite Clint Eastwood as a baseball scout in Trouble With the Curve. He was also the dutiful butler in The Artist and held recurring roles on TV shows including Shameless, Psych, and ER. The 74-year-old Lauter got his start on Broadway alongside James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander as part of 1968’s stage production of The Great White Hope. In 1971, he tackled television in an episode of Mannix and moved to the big screen a year later with the Western Dirty Little Billy. He also worked on Alfred Hitchcock’s final film, Family Plot, and alongside Burt Reynolds in the original version of The Longest Yard.