David Huddleston, the man best known for playing the titular character in the cult classic film The Big Lebowski, passed away on Tuesday. The actor succumbed to heart and kidney disease at the age of 85 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. As massive fans of The Big Lebowski here at UPROXX, having recently done an entire week devoted to this piece of cinematic history, we’re saddened about Huddleston’s passing. Huddleston began his acting career after being honorably discharged from the Air Force and was able to attend The American Academy of Dramatic Arts on his G.I. Bill in the late 1950s. Huddleston got his feet wet in Hollywood by playing bit roles on classic TV shows such as Adam-12 and Bewitched.
Huddleston scored his first big role in 1972 with the Western Bad Company – also one of Jeff Bridges’ earlier films. He also starred as Mayor Olson Johnson in Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles, appearing in over sixty films total. However, it’s his role as millionaire Jeffrey Lebowski in the Coen Brothers classic for which he’s most well known. Post-Lebowski, Huddleston remained relatively active on screen. His film role in the 2009 thriller Locker 19 and appearance as a guest on a holiday episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia a year later would be his last projects. Despite his successful film and television career, Huddleston’s wife told the LA Times that his crowning achievement as an actor was playing Benjamin Franklin in a Broadway production of 1776.
(Via LA Times)