He was one of those actors you recognized immediately, but you didn’t necessarily know his name. Ed Lauter has passed away at the age of 72.
His most recent credit was the Clint Eastwood film Trouble with the Curve, but his career spanned Alfred Hitchcock’s The Family Plot to The Longest Yard, and included Seabiscuit, Death Wish 3, and French Connection II, as well as numerous TV appearances since the early 1970s.
Edward Matthew Lauter II (pronounced LAW-t?r; October 30, 1938 – October 16, 2013), known as Ed Lauter, was an American actor and stand-up comedian. He appeared in more than 200 films and TV series episodes in a career that spanned over 40 years.
Lauter was born and raised in Long Beach, New York, the son of Sally Lee, a 1920s Broadway actress and dancer, and Edward Matthew Lauter. After graduating from high school, he majored in English Literature in college and received a B.A. degree in 1961 from the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University. While in college, he played basketball.
On October 16, 2013, Lauter died of mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer, having been diagnosed five months earlier in May.Married four times, he is survived by his fourth wife, Marchell Doreen "Mia" (née Williams), and his four children from previous marriages. He continued to work until a few months before his death, completing roles in several films still to be released after his death.
To honor his work, the Ed Lauter Foundation is being established, which will award a scholarship yearly to aspiring young actors.
Reflecting on his lengthy career, Lauter said in a 2012 interview with the Los Angeles Times:
A lot of people say, "I know you," but they don’t know my name. But I’ve had a great run.
— Ed Lauter, Los Angeles Times, October 17, 2013, quoting 2012 interview