By Associated Press
Updated March 11, 2013 at 12:00 PM EDT
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Willy Switkes
Credit: AP

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

Willy Switkes
Credit: AP

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.

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