Ed Lauter | Veteran character actor, 74
Ed Lauter, 74, whose long, angular face and stern bearing made him an instantly recognizable figure in scores of movies and TV shows during a career that stretched across five decades, died Wednesday of mesothelioma.
Mr. Lauter's presence as an irascible authority figure, a brutal thug, or a conniving con man made him all but impossible to miss in any film he was in.
He was the brutal prison guard who was Burt Reynolds' nemesis in the 1974 comedy-drama The Longest Yard and the sleazy gas-station attendant in Alfred Hitchcock's last film, The Family Plot.
His TV appearances included The Office, ER, Murder, She Wrote, and The Rockford Files.
He laughed at being frequently recognized in public for his roles.
"But sometimes people don't know my name," he said. "They'll say: 'Oh, yeah! There's that guy! You were in ... you were in ..." - AP