Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Willy Switkes, character actor, dies at 83

Posted on

Willy Switkes

A character actor who had minor roles in Tootsie, Taxi Driver, and dozens of other films has died. Willy Switkes was 83.

Willy Switkes

His niece Ellen Switkes says he died of colon cancer on Thursday at a hospice in Rockville, Md.

Willy Switkes was a native of Washington, D.C., and a longtime New York City resident. He appeared in Broadway productions of The Cherry Orchard and A Thousand Clowns and was an understudy to Buster Keaton during a 1960 tour of Once Upon a Mattress. His other films include The French Connection and Bananas.

His characters often were unidentified, such as his “man at cab” credit for Tootsie, in which he’s thrown from a taxi after trying to cut in front of title character Dustin Hoffman.