Henry Gibson: 1935-2009

Rest in peace, Mr. Gibson.

by | September 16, 2009 | Comments

Henry Gibson, an American actor and songwriter who appeared on television and in films for more than 40 years, has passed away after a short struggle with cancer. He was 73.

Gibson received his first big film break in 1963’s The Nutty Professor, but his first major role came courtesy of his three-year stint as part of the cast of Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, where he developed the popular recurring character of a Nehru-garbed poet. After Laugh-In, Gibson appeared in a long list of films, becoming a favorite of director Robert Altman, who used him in four films: The Long Goodbye, A Perfect Couple, Health, and Nashville (Gibson earned a Golden Globe nomination for his work in the latter).

Though he never became a household name, Gibson’s face was one of the more recognizable in Hollywood, partly due to his sheer ubiquity, and partly due to his distinctive style. Some of his better-known film roles include the head of the Illinois Nazis in The Blues Brothers, the villainous Werner in The ‘Burbs, and the perpetually befuddled Father O’Neil in The Wedding Crashers — but he also worked on Broadway, appearing with Walter Matthau and Ruth Gordon in Lillian Hellman’s My Mother, My Father and Me, did voice work (including the part of Wilbur the pig in 1973’s Charlotte’s Web), and was a regular fixture on television, securing a five-season run on Boston Legal and a recurring character on King of the Hill. (Visit his filmography for a more complete list of credits.)

Gibson, who passed away at home in Malibu, is survived by three children and two grandchildren.

Click here for Gibson’s complete filmography.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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