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We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future. “He will be forever remembered for his service to our union and the countless characters he brought to life on screen. From Tim Allen to Kurt Russell, Which Santa Actor Is the Best? He is survived by his wife Sarah Koeppe, a casting agent whom he met while making Santa Claus, though they did not marry until 1999, when they exchanged vows in the Tunnel of Love Drive-Thru in Las Vegas. Huddleston served more than 10 years on the Screen Actors Guild’s national board. Last modified on Tue … David Huddleston, the US actor who played the title roles in The Big Lebowski and Santa Claus: The Movie, dies at the age of 85. In The Big Lebowski, he was the wheelchair-bound, hippie-hating millionaire for whom Jeff Bridges, as Jeff Lebowski, a laidback hippie known as “The Dude”, is mistaken by a gang of thugs. “Now who can argue with that?” he says, pointing out that the speech was delivered in “authentic frontier gibberish”. David Huddleston in The Big Lebowski Credit: Rex D avid Huddleston, who has died aged 85, was a busy character actor who played the mayor in … He was an actor and producer, known for The Big Lebowski (1998), Blazing Saddles (1974) and The Producers (2005). 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Huddleston specialised in big, burly, bluff, blustery characters who tended to make up in sheer volume for what they lacked in grey matter. David Huddleston in The Big Lebowski. Condolences. Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist. The Big Lebowski Returns to Theaters This Summer, The Dude Abides! We rely on advertising to help fund our award-winning journalism. David Huddleston, a noted character actor who was most famously known for the titular role in “ The Big Lebowski ” died Tuesday at 85. His wife told the L.A. Times that he considered his “crowning achievement” to be the role of Benajmin Franklin in the 1998 Broadway production of “1776” and in Washington, D.C. in 2003. In 1984 he played opposite Dustin Hoffman’s Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman as Charlie, Willy’s only true friend, one critic describing him as “radiating a quiet benovolence as expansive as his considerable girth”. His wife, … He was elected to multi-year terms in 1976, 1982, 2000, and 2004. The Big Lebowski became a cult hit. Ronald Bergan. In a typical Coen brothers comic muddle, the Big Lebowski gets the Dude to act as a go-between with villains who have apparently “kidnapped” his trophy wife, Bunny (Tara Reid), in a plot which includes a gang of nihilists, a severed toe, pornographic films, a sadistic bowling rival and countless other diversions. David Huddleston was born on September 17, 1930 in Vinton, Virginia, USA as David William Huddleston. David Huddleston: The Big Lebowski. David Huddleston, who has died aged 85, was a busy character actor who played the mayor in Mel Brooks’s spoof Western Blazing Saddles (1974) and the title character in the Coen brothers’ Raymond Chandler pastiche The Big Lebowski (1998). The bums lost,” the Big Lebowski tells his laid-back namesake. He was also a member of the SAG Hollywood division’s board. As a child he appeared in community theatre productions, minstrel shows and children’s pageants and, after serving as a mechanic in the US Air Force, he attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts on the GI Bill. Variety and the Flying V logos are trademarks of Variety Media, LLC. His other film credits included Fools’ Parade (1971), Family Reunion (1981) and The Producers (2005). He died on August 2, 2016 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. “It was probably the most fun I ever had on a set,” Huddleston recalled. Looking for some great streaming picks? Bill. “Well, by God, you’d do the same for me, wouldn’t you?” the star replied. He was married to Sarah C. Koeppe and Carole Ann Swart. Although he is in only a few scenes in the film, he crosses paths with Jeff Bridges’ Lebowski character, aka “The Dude,” after a group of gang members attack “The Dude” mistaking him for Huddleston’s millionaire Lebowski. David Huddleston was born on September 17 1930 at Vinton, Virginia. He took the title role in Santa Claus: the Movie (1985) opposite Dudley Moore. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and loved ones.”, Born in Vinton, Va., he served in the Air Force and then studied acting in New York on the G.I. As Mayor Olson Johnson in Blazing Saddles, Mel Brooks’s comedy about a black sheriff (Cleavon Little) who teams with a washed-up gunfighter (Gene Wilder) to save a town of racists and bigots from evil politicians and businessmen, Huddleston gets up at a town meeting after a grizzled old timer makes an incomprehensible speech about “Sidewindin’ bushwackin’ hornswagglin’ cracker croakers” and the like, to address the assembled citizens of Rock Ridge. “Your revolution is over, Mr Lebowski. Before he was cast as the Big Lebowski, he guest starred on several TV shows, including “Walker Texas Ranger,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “Gilmore Girls” and “The West Wing” and had a recurring role as the grandfather on “The Wonder Years,” for which he was Emmy nominated.