Basil Hoffman, character actor in Ordinary People and The Artist, dies at 83
Basil Hoffman, a veteran character actor who appeared in two films that won the Oscar for Best Picture — 1980's Ordinary People and 2011's The Artist — died Sept. 17 at 83.
His longtime friend and manager Brad Lemack confirmed the news to EW.
"Having known him as a friend and having represented him as his manager for the last 40 years, I have never known an actor so committed to both the process of acting and the business of acting," Lemack said in a statement. "He was also a student actor's best friend and attended many acting showcases of new talent… and long after the performances ended, he always lingered to talk with new-to-the-business artists about their professional acting career pursuits. As I wrote on my Facebook page this morning about him, 'Classy guy. Classic talent. Untouchable legacy. Well-earned, respected career.'"
Hoffman was born in Houston, went to school at Tulane University in New Orleans, and later moved to New York City, where he studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and sought out performing opportunities. He eventually relocated to Los Angeles, where he found work on the big and small screens.
Over the course of his career, Hoffman accumulated more than 200 credits across television and film. His TV credits included The Waltons, Columbo, M*A*S*H, CHiPs, Square Pegs, Hill Street Blues, and Dynasty, and he appeared in such films as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, All the President's Men, Night Shift, and Hail Caesar. The actor's final film role was the lead in the faith-based family comedy Lucky Louie, which is currently in post-production.
Beyond his work in front of the camera, Hoffman served as an acting teacher and coach. He also penned three books on acting.
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