On Aug. 2 the world lost actor David Huddleston at 85. He was one of the most prolific “hey that is the guy from that one movie” guys around.
With 145 acting credits to his name, Huddleston was a very experienced actor. He began to get steady acting work on TV in the ‘60s and ‘70s. If it was a TV show in that period then Huddleston was probably on it. The list of roles on prominent shows is too large to list but some are The Wonder Years, Star Trek: The Next Generation and recently It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
The two most famous roles to his name are The Big Lebowski and Blazing Saddles. In The Big Lebowski he played the title character. Huddleston could always play the big intimidating character which he was born to play but could always add humor to any scene in his film career.
Huddleston was born in 1930 in Vinton, Virginia. As a youth he performed monologues in local productions, his wife Sarah Koeppe told Los Angeles Times. When he was older he served in the Air Force as an aircraft engine mechanic. While under the G.I. Bill he attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
“Things were not important to him — people were,” Koeppe told Los Angeles Times. “He loved entertaining and would rather sit down and talk with someone over dinner.”
Huddleston regarded his role as Benjamin Franklin in the Broadway production of 1776 in 1997 as his crowning achievement, according to Koeppe. It was a combination of his love of government and politics. Koeppe said he always wanted to go back to school and get a law degree and go into politics.
After battling advanced heart and kidney disease Huddleston died in New Mexico.