R.D. Call, Waterworld and Born on the Fourth of July Actor, Dies at 70

R.D. Call, a prolific character actor whose work included Born on the Fourth of July, Waterworld, [...]

R.D. Call, a prolific character actor whose work included Born on the Fourth of July, Waterworld, and Last Man Standing, has passed away at the age of 70. His family announced the news via an obituary on Utah's Lindquist Mortuary and Cemeteries website. According to the family, Call passed away on Thursday, February 27, due to complications from back surgery. Born Roy Dana Call, was born on February 16, 1950, and grew up in Layton, Utah. He studied theater at Utah State University and Weber State University, before joining the Los Angeles acting scene in 1975. Call joined Lee Strasberg's acting school and Lonny Chapman's L.A. Repertory Theater Group, and ultimately made his onscreen debut in an episode of CBS' Barnaby Jones a few years later.

Call went on to work closely with both Sean Penn and his father, Leo Penn, throughout his career, including on 1988's Judgment in Berlin. His projects with the younger Penn included At Close Range (1986), Colors (1988), State of Grace (1990), The Weight of Water (2000), I Am Sam (2001) and Babel (2006) and Into the Wild (2007).

Beyond that, Call portrayed "Enforcer" in Waterworld, a Chaplain in Born on the Fourth of July, and Sheriff Maurice Daniels in The X-Files' "Miracle Man" episode.

Call was candid about his struggles with alcoholism, and celebrated his 26th year of sobriety earlier this year. He was actively involved in Alcoholics Anonymous and often sponsored many who also went through the program.

"R.D. was as tough as nails on the outside but a real gentleman on the inside," his family writes. "He could be very intimidating at first sight or even a little scary to some. But once you got to know him, his directness turned into a kind fondness for getting to know people. He was who he was, honest, direct, genuine, and funny, he had a great sense of humor and there was no pretense or phoniness. He was genuine and solid as a rock, true, faithful and totally loyal. As his good friend Matt Nelson said to me "he rode hard and could come off as a little frightening but inside was really a gentle soul." He would give someone that was down and out every dime in his pocket and the shirt off his back. Just ask all of the waitresses that work in any restaurant he frequented, his tips were very generous! That is R.D. Call."

A service for Call was held on Saturday, March 7th in Utah. He is survived by his brother, Rick; his sisters, Quay and Cindy; his uncle, Lane; and his aunt, Evelyn.