Rip Torn

Rip Torn Biography:


Date of Birth: February 6, 1931

Born Elmore Rual Torn, this Temple, Texas native became an inspiration for others in his family including cousin Sissy Spacek, niece Schuyler Fisk, daughter Angelica Torn (all actresses) and son Tony Torn (actor). After graduating from the University of Texas, Torn entered the Dallas Institute of Performing Arts. Torn had always had an eye for the film industry, hoping to use the money made to purchase a ranch. In the mid '50s, Torn took employment in a variety of odd jobs, including the military, before landing work on TV and in films.

Moving to New York in the late '50s Torn attended the Actors' Studio and appeared in a number of stage productions there. He had even landed the starring male role on Broadway's Sweet Bird of Youth. For the next 20 years Torn moved from one obscure or low budget film to the next, and also landed a number of gigs in television films and series. In 1983, he garnered his first Oscar nomination for his supporting role in Cold Creek.

He would finally hit it big playing a lawyer defending the life of a dead man in Defending Your Life (1991). Although he returned to challenging roles in the indie and low budget film industry, he would occasionally surface in mainstream films like Canadian Bacon, How to Make an American Quilt, Down Periscope, Hercules (voice), and Men in Black.

Although Torn has an extensive TV resume, it was with the popular sitcom, The Larry Sanders Show, that he struck gold. His performance as the producer Arthur led to four Emmy nominations (including one win in 1996), two American Comedy Award nominations (including a win in 1994) and a Golden Satellite Award nomination.

Torn did some directing work on the films Telephone and Rio Frio.

In 1994 he started a well-publicized lawsuit against actor Dennis Hopper who had claimed on The Tonight Show that Torn had pulled a knife on him during an audition for Easy Rider (1969). In 1997, a judge awarded Torn $475,000 from Hopper's wallet.

Married to actress Ann Wedgeworth in 1956, the two had a daughter, Danae, before their divorce in 1961. Soon after his divorce, he married actress Geraldine Page. The marriage produced a daughter, Angelicia, and twin sons Tony and John. The couple remained together until her death from a heart attack in 1987.

Rip Torn died at age 88 in his home in Lakeville, Connecticut, on July 9, 2019. Although he struggled with alcohol abuse for years, a cause of death was not released.


Marie-Antoinette (2006)
Yours, Mine and Ours (2005)
The Sisters (2005)
Forty Shades of Blue (2005)
Eulogy (2004)
Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)
Welcome to Mooseport (2004)
Love Object (2003)
Rolling Kansas (2003)
Men In Black 2 (2002)
Freddy Got Fingered (2001)
Clint Eastwood: Out of the Shadows (2000)
Wonder Boys (2000)
The Insider (1999)
Senseless (1998)
The Mouse (1997)
Men in Black (1997)
Hercules (1997) (voice)
Trial and Error (1997)
Death Falls (1996)
For Better or Worse (1996)
Down Periscope (1996)
How to Make an American Quilt (1995)
Canadian Bacon (1995)
Where the Rivers Flow North (1993)
RoboCop 3 (1993)
Beyond the Law (1992)
Dolly Dearest (1992)
Fires of Kuwait (1992)
Defending Your Life (1991)
Beautiful Dreamers (1990)
Cold Feet (1989)
Zwei Frauen (1989)
Hit List (1988)
Extreme Prejudice (1987)
Nadine (1987)
Summer Rental (1985)
Beer (1985)
Flashpoint (1984)
Misunderstood (1984)
Songwriter (1984)
City Heat (1984)
Cross Creek (1983)
The Beastmaster (1982)
Escarabajos asesinos (1982)
Jinxed! (1982)
A Stranger Is Watching (1982)
Airplane II: The Sequel (1982)
First Family (1980)
One Trick Pony (1980)
Heartland (1980)
The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979)
Coma (1978)
Birch Interval (1977)
The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover (1977)
Nasty Habits (1977)
On the Line (1976) (voice)
Song of Myself (1976)
The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)
Crazy Joe (1974)
Cotter (1973)
Payday (1972)
Slaughter (1972)
One P.M. (1972)
Tropic of Cancer (1970)
Coming Apart (1969)
Maidstone (1969)
Beyond the Law (1968)
Sol Madrid (1968)
Beach Red (1967)
You're a Big Boy Now (1966)
One Spy Too Many (1966)
The Cincinnati Kid (1965)
Critic's Choice (1963)
Hero's Island (1962)
Sweet Bird of Youth (1962)
King of Kings (1961)
Pork Chop Hill (1959)
Time Limit (1957)
A Face in the Crowd (1957) (uncredited)
Baby Doll (1956) (uncredited)

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