I adored this gentleman. So this is terrible and rather unexpected news.

I’ve seen RON SILVER in various films and TV productions since I was little. He was very handsome and a truly wonderful character actor.

I loved him best in BLUE STEEL, where he played a charming psychopath who was a skilled, cunning adversary up against JAMIE LEE CURTIS’ tough, monumentally driven rookie cop. It’s a decent movie and they were both terrific in it. It’s unfortunate that they never got serious awards attention for those roles.

He was equally fabulous in the TV movie WHEN BILLIE BEAT BOBBY, where he portrayed a letter perfect BOBBY RIGGS as a contrast to the brilliant HOLLY HUNTER’S BILLIE JEAN KING.

I liked him a lot in ENEMIES: A LOVE STORY as well.

He will be dearly missed. This is very, very sad…

Actor RON SILVER, who won a TONY award as a take no prisoners HOLLYWOOD producer in DAVID MAMET’S SPEED THE PLOW, died today at the age of 62.

“Ron Silver died peacefully in his sleep with his family around him early Sunday morning in New York,” said ROBIN BRONK, executive director of THE CREATIVE COALITION, which Mr. Silver helped found. He became much more politically conservative after 9/11.

“He was a talented actor, a scholar and a great believer in participatory democracy. He was an activist who became a great artist and his contributions will never be forgotten.”

RON SILVER had been fighting esophageal cancer for two years.

Born JULY 2, 1946, in New York City, he was the son of IRVING SILVER and MAY SILVER. His father worked in New York’s garment industry and his mother was a teacher.

Earning a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a master’s degree in Chinese history from St. John’s University, RON SILVER also studied drama at the ACTORS STUDIO.

In the 1970s, he gradually moved from theatre in New York into television and film. He and ex wife LYNNE MILLER had a son ADAM and daughter ALEXANDRA.

RON SILVER, an EMMY nominee for a recurring role as a slick strategist for liberal President JED BARTLETT on THE WEST WING, had a long history of balancing acting with left leaning social and political causes.

His big screen credits included THE ENTITY, ALI, ENEMIES: A LOVE STORY, GIRL 6, BLUE STEEL and GARBO TALKS. He also appeared on televison shows such as RHODA and HILL STREET BLUES.

His TONY for SPEED THE PLOW came in 1988, a year after he earned his first EMMY nomination, for the murder thriller BILLIONAIRE BOYS CLUB.

On screen, his roles spanned the political gamut, from ultraconservative HENRY KISSINGER in the 1995 TV movie KISSINGER & NIXON to ultraliberal ALAN DERSHOWITZ in 1990’s REVERSAL OF FORTUNE.

He also underwent a memorable transformation for the 2001 TV movie WHEN BILLIE BEAT BOBBY, disguising himself behind black rimmed glasses and bushy sideburns to play BOBBY RIGGS in his notorious 1970s tennis match against BILLIE JEAN KING (HOLLY HUNTER).

Once recruited as a CIA apprentice, he maintained an interest in politics, international affairs and social causes throughout his life.

Besides founding THE CREATIVE COALITION, he served as president of the ACTOR’S EQUITY ASSOCIATION.

No matter on which end of the political spectrum his activism fell, RON SILVER viewed such involvement as something of a duty for entertainers.

“I think there’s almost an obligation,” he commented to the AP in 1991.

“Many of us are very well compensated for work which a lot of people would love to do…and we also have a lot of leisure time in between jobs.”

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