Sad news from Hollywood this week: veteran character actor Bruno Kirby died on Monday from complications relating to leukemia. You may not have known Kirby by name, but you probably knew him by face and surely by voice: he had a string of amazing, delightful roles in some of the greats: Jess, Harry's neurotic writer friend in "When Harry Met Sally," who looks at Carrie Fisher and promises, "You'll never have to be out there again;" Tony the chatty, Sinatra-loving limo driver in "This Is Spinal Tap" (see his brilliant, hilarious yet totally sweet rendition of "All The Way" in this deleted scene); the guy who sends himself and his buddies off to a dude ranch in "City Slickers," setting off a chain of events that leads to the adoption of one adorable Norman (loved that movie, not ashamed to admit); and, of course, as the young Clemenza in "The Godfather II" (a sequel, it's fair to say, that was probably a little more well-received than "City Slickers II"). To the unschooled, Kirby was that guy who was often "that guy" -- familiar, welcome, and distinctive; no doubt many people had that reaction a few weeks ago when he cropped up in "Entourage" as Shrek-doll loving producer Phil Rubenstein, another of the smart, satisfying casting choices made on that show. He will, I'm sure, be missed.
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