RIP Ron Silver, Darned Good Actor and Outspoken Conservative

| March 15, 2009 | 2 Replies

ron-silver-2004-rncAh, man. I didn’t even know he was ill.

Actor and longtime political activist Ron Silver died this morning, succumbing to a long battle with cancer, friends of the liberal Democrat-turned-GOP stalwart told The Post.

“Ron Silver died peacefully in his sleep with his family around him this morning,” said Robin Bronk, executive director of the Creative Coalition, which Silver helped create.

“He had been fighting esophageal cancer for two years and his family is making arrangements for a private service.”

Most folks will remember Silver best from his role as political consultant Bruno Gianello on The West Wing. That was only one of dozens of roles he played over his career. I remembering being surprised, and rather pleased, seeing him show up in a couple episodes of one of my favorite shows, Hill Street Blues. My favorite Silver role, though, was the excellent villain Senator Aaron McComb in Timecop. He was one of those actors who worked in both TV and movies with equal ease and you couldn’t help but pay attention to him when he was on the screen. I’ll miss seeing him and wish I had gotten the chance to meet him.

Silver was also a fearless voice for conservatism (one of his last interviews is here, with David Frost). He spoke at the 2004 Republican National Convention and endorsed George W. Bush. He was at the 2008 convention also, though he didn’t speech from the podium. That’s not terribly unusual unless you consider that Silver worked in Hollywood, where swimming against the left-wing stream has a very real cost in lost work. Still, he was steadfast in speaking out in defense of his conservative principles and that’s worth honoring at least as much as his acting career.

UPDATE: Yeah, Jim, they should have made that show. I would have watched it.

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Category: In Memoriam

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