In addition to Steve Jobs, we’ve lost another great today : actor Charles Napier.
Though the 75-year-old actor’s passing will no doubt get lesser media coverage than the famous Apple founder, Napier’s accomplishments are no less as exceptional and varied. Film fans will be especially saddened to hear that the character actor has hitched a ride on a cloud.
Jamie from ThinkMcFlyThink dropped us the sad news via email a few minutes ago. Like Jamie, I grew up with Napier’s performances – from his chisel-jawed Murdock in “Rambo : First Blood Part II” to the intimidating Lt. Bill Boyle in “Silence of the Lambs” and his Gloucester Hebbing in Stephen Frears’ “The Grifters”, the man always hit it out of the park. He always seemed to play the same type of character, a stern authoriative type (usually a military type), but nevertheless was always delish in his efforts. One of his most famous turns was as Tucker McElroy in “The Blues Brothers” – one of the few roles that didn’t require Napier to wear a uniform.
Napier’s last major film was “The Goods : Live Hard, Sell Hard” with Jeremy Piven in 2009, just prior to that he appeared in “Annapolis” with Tyrese Gibson and James Franco, “The Kid & I” with Tom Arnold, “Lords of Dogtown”, and the remake of “The Manchurian Candidate”.
Though cause of death is unknown, Napier – said to have last been in hospital for blood clots in his legs – seems to have died of natural causes.
Here’s some classic Napier to go out on, as we say goodbye to a movie great :