Saturday, July 22, 2006

Jack Warden

Jack Warden passed away at the age of 85. He was one of a kind and he will be missed. Funny thing is - Jack Warden wasn't a "star" in the usual sense. He wasn't the leading man but his presence often was that missing ingredient that made a movie memorable. If Jack Warden was a member of the 1975 Red Sox - he would have been Bernie Carbo.

People forget that it was Bernie Carbo's home run that made Carlton Fisk's dramatic home run possible. Similarly - it was Warden's Max Corkle that made Warren Beatty's Joe Pendleton really sympathetic and funny in Heaven Can Wait. It was Warden's gritty Mickey Morrisey who added depth to Paul Newman's Frank Galvin in The Verdict. It was Warden's crazy Justice Rayford that made Al Pachino screaming "This whole court is out of order" memorable in And Justice for All. The list could go on and on.

Maybe more impressive than his acting resume is the fact that Warden served in both the US Navy and then the US Army (as a paratrooper in the famous 101st - think Band of Brothers). Jack Warden fought at the Battle of the Bulge. That is the type of fact that I did not know till his death but at the same time the type of fact that does not surprise you. Jack Warden just seemed like the type of guy who would have fought at the Battle of the Bulge and never mentioned it.

Rest in peace Jack Warden. They truly broke the mold when they made you.

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