August 16, 2006
Bruno Kirby, 1949 - 2006.Bruno Kirby, a veteran character actor known for playing the best friend in two of Billy Crystal's biggest comedies When Harry Met Sally and City Slickers, has died. He was 57. Jeremiah Marquez for the AP. [M]y favorite Kirby performance, I must admit, is one of his more obscure credits, a 1993 episode of the noirish Showtime cable series Fallen Angels. In "I'll Be Waiting," adapted by scripter C Gaby Mitchell from a short story by Raymond Chandler, he was shrewdly cast against type (by director Tom Hanks) as a seemingly stolid hotel detective who is underestimated by just about everybody... "When I was casting this role," Hanks told me years later, "I wanted someone who looked like he was a shoe salesman - but who could break your thumbs if he had to." Joe Leydon. Updated through 8/19. [I]t's his film work that most people, including myself will recall. From his appearance as one of the students in the supremely goofy and dated The Harrad Experiment in 1973 to his role as the young Clemenza opposite Robert DeNiro's young Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II. [...] For me, my favorite film role of Kirby's is as Marlon Brando's nephew in the great comedy The Freshman, so in a way you can say Kirby played opposite both Vito Corleones. Edward Copeland. Update, 8/17: An appreciation from Barbara Serrano in the Los Angeles Times, where Dennis McLellan writes the paper's obit. Update, 8/19: A 1990 interview on Fresh Air.
Posted by dwhudson at August 16, 2006 3:19 AM