American actor Rip Torn, known for his roles in Men In Black, Dodgeball and 30 Rock, has died aged 88.
The Oscar and Tony award nominee and Emmy winner died at his home surrounded by his wife and two daughters, his publicist confirmed to the Associated Press.
Torn, born Elmore Rual Torn Jr, was nominated for an Oscar for his role in 1984 drama Cross Creek, where he portrayed alcoholic father Marsh opposite Mary Steenburgen.
He found acclaim in the HBO series The Larry Sanders Show, where he received an Emmy nomination in every one of its seasons, winning in 1996.
Torn began his acting career in the 1950s as a stage actor following a stint in the US army, becoming a prolific star on Broadway before his 1956 film debut in Baby Doll.
A cousin of Sissy Spacek, Torn had developed a fiery reputation within the industry, most notably when he rowed with Dennis Hopper during the pre-production of 1969 film Easy Rider. Hopper claimed in 1994 that Torn pulled a knife on him, with Torn suing as a result, claiming instead that Hopper had pulled the knife on him.
The court ruled in favour of Torn, but it came a number of decades after Torn had been replaced in his role by Jack Nicholson.
Torn’s reputation followed him outside the acting world, and he was involved in a number of run-ins with the law, mostly surrounding drink-driving.
In 2010 he was arrested after breaking into a bank branch in Connecticut and was charged with carrying an unlicensed firearm, burglary, trespass and carrying a firearm while intoxicated. Police said Torn had broken into the bank thinking it was his home.
After pleading guilty to a number of charges surrounding his possession of a loaded weapon while drunk, he was given a two-and-a-half-year suspended jail sentence in 2010.
Torn also infamously fought director Norman Mailer during the filming of counterculture film Maidstone. In an improvised on-camera scene, Torn — playing Mailer’s brother — attacked Mailer with a hammer and attempted to strangle him. Mailer bit Torn’s ear in response.
The scene made it into Maidstone’s final cut and was apparently planned, but the blood shed by both actors was very real. Torn was reportedly angered by Mailer’s direction.