Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Peter Boyle (1935-2006)

Peter Boyle had a long and illustrious career and while most younger people will remember him as Frank Barone on TV's Everybody Loves Raymond, he'll always be Young Frankenstein to me.

Those two credits just scratch the surface of the body of work Boyle leaves behind. His first defining film role was 1970's Joe, a horribly dated piece now about a man fighting his repulsion and attraction to the counterculture, but which features a great Boyle performance nonetheless. Two years later, he managed Robert Redford's politician to victory in The Candidate. In 1976, he was one of Travis Bickle's fellow hacks in Taxi Driver. In 1979, he returned to Paul Schrader territory, this time playing the detective helping a father (George C. Scott) find his daughter lost in the porn industry in Hardcore. He played the first version of Hunter S. Thompson's lawyer in Where the Buffalo Roam and gave a strong performance as Billy Bob Thornton's racist father in Monster's Ball. He appeared most recently in The Santa Clause 3 as Father Time.

While he never managed to win an Emmy for his role on Raymond, he did get one for his great guest appearance on one of the very best episodes of The X-Files, "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose," about a psychic with bad luck. In the end, Young Frankenstein will tower above all else for me, from his great comic scene with the blind man (Gene Hackman) to his rendition of "Puttin' on the Ritz."

RIP Peter Boyle.


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I loved Peter Boyle's work, most particularly in Taxi Driver and in the classic X Files epsiode "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose." I never met the man, but my wife and I went to a taping of Everybody Loves Raymond sometime in the show's third season, and it was a genuine thrill to see how he comported himself on that small stage, so much bigger, and yet so perfectly fitting, with his surroundings. He was the epitome of my favorite kind of actor-- a character man who occasionally got to shine in a big role. Thanks for your tribute, Edward. Mine is available here. And thanks, Mr. Boyle, for a lifetime of fine work.
Thanks Edward, I completely missed this, immediately thought of 'Taxi Driver' from my soundtrack LP and his billing as Wizard.
To me his Frankenstein is balanced by his "Dillon," the rat of a bartender in Friends of Eddie Coyle, a totally forgotten masterpiece of 70's film
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