Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Bruno Kirby Passes On

Character actor Bruno Kirby died August 14 at the age of 57. He was best known for playing the archetypal New Yorker in various movies and TV shows. He died from complications resulting from leukaemia.

Bruno Kirby was born Bruno Giovanni Quidaciolu, Jr. on April 28, 1949 in New York City. His father, Bruce Kriby, is also an actor (best known as Sergeant Kramer on Columbo). Bruno Kirby made his film debut in The Young Graduates in 1971. Throughout the Seventies he played small parts in such films as The Harrad Experiment, Baby Blue Marine, and Between the Lines. He made guest apperances on such series as Room 222, Columbo, and Kojak.

Kirby came into his own in the Eighties. In 1981 he played Albert Brooks' fellow film editor in Modern Romance. In 1984 he appeared as fast talking chauffer Tommy Pischedda in This is Spinal Tap (in my opinion, his best role). He would go onto appear in such movies as When Harry Met Sally (one of his best known roles, as Jess), City Slickers (where he played Ed Furillo, another one of his best known roles), and Donnie Brasco. He was a regular on It's Gary Shandling's Show. He also made guest appearances on Frasier, Mad About You, and Entourage.

I always liked Bruno Kirby. As a character actor he had a definite gift for comedy. He was perfectly cast in both When Harry Met Sally and City Slickers, perhaps the best foil that Billy Crystal ever had. It is certainly sad to know that he is gone, and gone all too soon.

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