Jonathan Frakes Remembers Rip Torn

On Tuesday, news broke that veteran actor and Men in Black star Rip Torn had died at age 88. Fans and celebrities, including Men in Black co-star Will Smith, took to social media to remember Torn. Actor and director Jonathan Frakes joined them with a tweet on Wednesday morning.

Frakes is best known for his work behind and in front of the camera for the Star Trek franchise. In 1986, before he debuted as Cmdr. Will Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation, he appeared in two episodes of the television miniseries Dream West. The miniseries starred Richard Chamberlain as 19th-century explorer John C. Frémont.

Torn played Kit Carson in the series. Frakes shared an image Torn from the show to Twitter as well as a remembrance of the late actor.

“R.I.P RIP,” Frakes tweeted. “I had the privilege of working with this legend in DREAM WEST.”

Torn received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in 1984 for playing Marsh Turner in Cross Creek. He was nominated for six Emmy Awards and and won one in 1996 for playing Artie on The Larry Sanders Show. His publicist says the actor died Saturday afternoon at his home in Lakeville, Connecticut with his family — wife Amy Wright and daughters Katie Torn and Angelica Page — at his side.

Torn began his film career in 1956 with a role in Elia Kazan’s movie Baby Doll. For the next 60 years Torn appeared in film, television, and stage productions. He was one of the original cast members of the Tennessee Williams play Sweet Bird of Youth and appeared in both the 1962 film adaptation with Paul Newman and a 1989 television adaptation starring Elizabeth Taylor, Mark Harmon, and Valerie Perrine. Torn also had toles in two Alfred Hitchcock Presents episodes and in movies including The Cincinnati Kid, Twelve O'Clock High, and King of Kings.


Torn also appeared in cult hits Payday in 1972 and David Bowie’s The Man Who Fell To Earth in 1976. Torn also performed some voice acting work, including voicing Zeus in Disney’s 1997 film Hercules and Hephaestus in the 2010 video game God of War III.

Torn showed his comedic capabilities in films such as Jinxed! and Airplane II: The Sequel to Defending Your Life. He appeared on the NBC comedy 30 Rock Don Geiss, mentor of Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin). Torn’s final live-action role may have been to reprise his role as Zed from Men in Black in a 2015 Air New Zealand short.