Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Bruno Kirby Passed Away

I'm sorry to hear this news. I hadn't heard that he was ill, and I just saw him doing a guest shot on ENTOURAGE about a month ago. He played a dyspeptic movie producer who goes batshit when his prized Shrek doll is stolen from his mansion.

Bruno Kirby was a heck of a good actor probably best known for playing supporting roles in some very good comedies: CITY SLICKERS, WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, GOOD MORNING VIETNAM, TIN MEN. He starred as Vincent Bugliosi in the TV remake of HELTER SKELTER two years ago.

The New York Times says Kirby was 57 years old and died of leukemia. I'm pretty sure that his father, Bruce Kirby, who also is a very good character actor adept at both comedy and drama, is still alive. I know he was doing some WEST WING episodes a few years ago.

Bruno Kirby is probably best recognized by his very distinctive raspy voice. I really liked him as Albert Brooks' frustrated foil in the underrated MODERN ROMANCE. In fact, Kirby doesn't even appear in his best scene, which focuses on Brooks freaking out over a broken relationship and calling his friend Kirby at work (they're film editors cutting a schlocky sci-fi movie starring George Kennedy!) while on 'ludes. And if you go back far enough, you may recall that he was a semi-regular playing a high-school student on the good show ROOM 222 in the '70s.


Ken Begg said...

This was really shocking, especially since there seems to have been a spate of 'old-timer' deaths recently; Red Buttons, etc. Kirby seems entirely too young to join them.

Bad movie buffs, meanwhile, may want to check out the work of the very young Kirby in The Harrad Experiment, where he works opposite the equally young Don Johnson.

Good actor, seemingly nice guy, sad story.

katie said...

can you talk about some kick ass people who are still alive. this is getting depressing and sad mckee. come on - liven up this blog. you can do it mckee.

Anonymous said...

The first thing I remember seeing Kirby in was SUPERDAD, right there alongside Kurt Russell. My sister used to watch ROOM 222 and I saw a number of shows as well, but my memory of the show is far too vague these days.

Even though his likeable personality served him well in comedies (THE FRESHMAN particularly) he has a brief but stunning part in SLEEPERS as a wife-beating father, something that he followed up with another terrific performance opposite Al Pacino and Johnny Depp in DONNIE BRASCO.