By Associated Press
Updated March 11, 2013 at 12:00 PM EDT

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


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.