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July 24, 2014

Jack Warden dead at 85

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 21st 2006 7:33PM
Jack WardenUsually Bob takes care of celebrity obits, but i found out that Jack Warden, one of my favorite character actors, died on Wednesday at 85, I definitely wanted to give my thoughts.

Warden's played just about every gruff role you could imagine in television and movies, from quality productions like All the President's Men and The Verdict (where he used the phrase "he's the prince of fucking darkness" long before Ozzy did), to utter crapola like The Replacements. He's played more coaches, owners, managers, and editors than a person could count.

But the role for which I'll remember him, and a role for which he was nominated twice for an Emmy, was Harry Fox in Crazy Like A Fox. Harry was an unorthodox detective that drove his uptight son Harrison nuts on a weekly basis. The show was only on for a couple of years, but my teenaged self loved the mysteries and, for some reason, found Warden's character endearing and funny (but I also watched Murder, She Wrote and The Golden Girls a lot during those years, too. I was a strange kid). Every time I've seen Warden on the screen, he's given that particular movie or show a little more class and humor.

Warden died in New York of natural causes. "Everything gave out. Old age," said Warden's business manager. Huh. Seems appropriate somehow.

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Mark Griffith

Heaven Can Wait is my favorite movie of all time. Jack's scenes with Beatty at the end just get me every time. "Look at me," he pleads. "Just look at me." What a kick in the gut to lose your best friend not once but twice. He plays that scene with wistfulness and heartbreak. He was terrific in everything, but that's the performance that pierces the soul. Heaven could not wait any longer for such a good guy, and I am glad he is at peace.

July 24 2006 at 4:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ed Gordon

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Warden on April 12, 2002 when we both had an appointment that day at the Lenox Hill Radiology in Manhattan. My favorite movie I saw him in was "Twelve Angry Men". I remember telling him what a character he was in that movie. He played a juror that was anxious to give a guilty verdict, without hearing all of the facts of the case (like ten of the other eleven jurors) so that he could go to the Yankees' game that night. I wanted to talk to him more, but the nurse Lucy told me not to keep bothering him. Anyway, I was at the Lenox Hill Radiology for a simple CT-Scan. I didn't realize at the time that he might have been very ill because I hadn't seen him in anything since he appeared in "The Replacements" back in 2000. He will be sorely missed.

July 24 2006 at 11:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Stuman714 from Indy

Wonderful performer of the old school actors, his performances, as already previously mentioned, were of the quality of that you knew it enhanced the whole show with him being in it. He will truly be missed, but always remembered with a tear, a smile, and a hearty roar to the legacy of which performers as this leave their mark. God Speed Mr. Warden, and thank you for the wonderful memories!

July 23 2006 at 8:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John Dallal

Jack Warden was one of my favorite actors for many
years. Right off the bat I remember his terrific
performances in 'Being There',with Peter Sellers,
and 'Twelve Angry Men',with Henry Fonda. I will miss
him.

July 22 2006 at 10:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gavin

He was in two Twilight Zone episodes. The one where he is a prisoner on an asteroid and they send him a fembot, and the one with a baseball team getting a droid player. He will be missed.

July 22 2006 at 6:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brad

He was great in 'Dirty Work' with Norm McDonald and Artie Lange...so funny

July 22 2006 at 12:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Toby OB

When everything else about "Heaven Can Wait" was a pale imitation of "Here Comes Mr. Jordan", Jack Warden's final scenes as the Coach was the only thing that not only rivaled but topped the original. (And I don't mean disrespect to Jimmy Gleason.)

As a kid I first noticed him in "Wackiest Ship In The Army" on TV, and always watched "Crazy Like A Fox" for him. Even when he had no lines, like in "Toys", he was a pleasure to watch.

I put him in the same school of actors as James Whitmore and the late Darren McGavin; that breed of rough-hewn, up from the streets kind of actor from the fifties is almost all gone now. And Jack Warden was one of the best.

July 22 2006 at 12:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Trevor

Always very watchable. Sad to see him leave us.

July 21 2006 at 11:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andy Grey

I loved Jack Warden in All the President's men. But my favorite role of was his was one of the jurors in the great film, "12 Angry Men". He will be missed.

July 21 2006 at 10:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kenivc

see him as the judge in the Al Pacino movie "With Justice for All" great scene..he is sitting out on a window ledge hi above the city eating his lunch during a break in the trial.....

July 21 2006 at 9:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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