David Huddleston, Known for Playing The Big Lebowski, Dead at 85

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Photo: Bennett Raglin/Getty Images

David Huddleston died on Tuesday at the age of 85. The character actor was best known for his brief but memorable role as the titular character in The Big Lebowski. Huddleston died after suffering from advanced heart and kidney disease, his wife Sarah Koeppe told the Los Angeles Times. Born in Virginia, Huddleston served as an aircraft-engine mechanic in the Air Force before attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts on the G.I. Bill. Long before The Big Lebowski, Huddleston racked up a number of credits across film, TV, and the stage. On the big screen, he had roles in films like Blazing Saddles and The Producers, while he appeared on TV shows including Gilmore Girls, The West Wing, and The Wonder Years, the latter of which saw him recur as the grandfather. He also had a love of theater, appearing in the original Broadway production of 1776 as Ben Franklin, a role that was his "crowning achievement," according to his wife. Huddleston is survived by his wife, son, and daughter-in-law.