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David Huddleston, The Big Lebowski, has passed away

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david huddleston lebowski

David Huddleston, who starred in the likes of Blazing Saddles, Crime Busters, Santa Claus: The Movie and The Big Lebowski, has died in New Mexico aged 85.

Huddleston was born in Vinton, Virginia, the son of Ismay Hope (née Dooley) and Lewis Melvin Huddleston. He was briefly an officer in the United States Air Force before beginning his formal education in acting at the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

His acting career spanned more than half a century, and included Broadway, television and commercial roles. In addition to playing guest roles on numerous TV dramas, he starred in the 2005 film “The Producers,” “Santa Claus: The Movie” (1985) and in 1974’s “Blazing Saddles.” He told the Roanoke Times that “Blazing Saddles” was “probably the most fun I have ever had on a set.”

His wife, Sarah Koeppe, said he died on Tuesday of advanced heart and kidney disease.

“He’d always make you laugh,” Koeppe told the Santa Fe New Mexican, saying her late husband had been “so amazed as he looked back at what happened in his life”.

“Things were not important to him — people were,” she said of her husband. “He loved entertaining and would rather sit down and talk with someone over dinner.”

Huddleston “had thousands of cookbooks, and he loved reading them because they told him about the history of people and locations,” Koeppe said. “He was always asking people, ‘If this was your last meal, what would you have?'”

Huddleston, the father of actor Michael Huddleston, had a passion for performing live.

“He began on the stage. That was the part he loved the most,” Koeppe said. She said he considered his “crowning achievement” to be playing Benjamin Franklin in the 1997 Broadway production “1776.”

Fellow actor Wilford Brimley remembered him as “a wonderful human being” who was “honest and kind and loyal”.

Besides Koeppe, he is survived by a son, a daughter-in-law and a recently adopted dog named Dooley.

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