The name may not sound familiar to many of you. It does to me only because I remember him in bit parts in a few movies that I enjoyed as well as his recurring role on "Boston Legal". Now, he is gone.
Actor Henry Gibson passed away Wednesday. No details of death have been released as of yet. He was 73-years-old.
Apparently he has been doing his thing ever since the days of "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In". That was clearly before my time. My first recollection of seeing him was as in one of my top 5 movies of all-time, "The Blues Brothers". He played one of the several cast of characters that were out to get Jake and Elwood. His was the head Nazi determined to make sure the Blues Brothers paid the cost for disrupting their Illinois Nazi rally.
As he got even older, he would go on to play the more squirrelly roles that were the ideal match for his demeanor and appearance. He was the wrongly accused and soon-to-be executed felon in the underrated comedy "Switching Channels". He played one of the corrupt villains in "Innerspace". And most recently, he was a semi-regular on "Boston Legal" as a judge William Shattner's character constantly butted heads with.
MTV used to have give out a pseud0-award during their MTV Movie Awards called the MTV Lifetime Achievement Award. It was a spoof on Lifetime Achievement Awards as it largely recognized actors who didn't get their just recognition. Past recipients jokingly included Jason Voorhees and even Chewbacca. However, when they gave it to Clint Howard during the final year they retired it, they may have been onto something.
There's a lot to be said for those actors that we see a lot in significant minor roles, but don't get the shine that the major stars of the film do. Their parts are small enough that they can't even really be considered supporting cast yet they are crucial to the film. That would be the type of character Gibson typically played and he was one of the best at it. He could have easily gotten one of those MTV Lifetime Achievement Awards.
Rest in peace, Mr. Gibson.