Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ron Silver: 1946-2009

After a 2 year long battle, Ron Silver succumbed tonight to esophageal cancer. He was not exactly the defining actor of his generation by any stretch, but that shouldn't sell short the way he impacted my life greatly through two primary roles. First, was his portrayal of Alan Dershowitz, one of my early intellectual idols, in Reversal of Fortune. More notably, it was his role as the immortal Bruno Gianelli, the manager of the re-election campaign for Jed Bartlett on The West Wing, for which i will remember him. His arrogance was only matched by his brilliance and his ability to put winning above all else. After securing a 2nd term for Bartlett, Bruno returns in season 6 to head up the campaign of Republican candidate Arnie Vinick, mirroring the notoriously liberal Silver's own defection to George W. Bush's side in 2004. His death marks the 2nd notable West Wing character (we wish you were still among us, John Spencer) to pass in the last few years. In real life, he was a very politically active man who used his celebrity status to make his voice heard and was a staunch and noble advocate of Israel. Ron, you left us too soon, and you will be sorely missed.

"We were but stones; your light made us stars."--Eddie Vedder

(So much for not writing about The West Wing here.)

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