Lauter, c. 1975
|Born||Edward Matthew Lauter Jr.
October 30, 1938
Long Beach, New York, U.S.
|Died||October 16, 2013
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Mesothelioma|
|Spouse(s)||5th wife: Mia Roberts Lauter (2006–2013; his death)|
Edward Matthew Lauter Jr. (// LAW-tər; October 30, 1938 – October 16, 2013), known as Ed Lauter, was an American actor and stand-up comedian. He appeared in more than 200 films and TV series episodes in a career that spanned over 40 years.
After graduating from high school, he majored in English Literature in college and received a B.A. degree in 1961 from the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University. While in college, he played basketball. Lauter served for two years in the United States Army.
Lauter's first acting role was a small part in the Broadway production of The Great White Hope, a boxing drama, in 1968. Before that, he was a stand-up comedian. His screen acting debut was in a 1971 episode of the television series Mannix. His first theatrical film role was in the Western Dirty Little Billy in 1972.
As a character actor, Lauter was known for his 6'2" height and balding looks. He starred with Bruce Dern, Barbara Harris, Karen Black, and William Devane in Alfred Hitchcock's final film, Family Plot. Hitchcock was impressed by Lauter and asked him to play a major role in the romantic espionage thriller he planned as his next film; the director's failing health and eventual death in 1980 meant that The Short Night never went into production.
Lauter appeared in many films, including half a dozen in 1972 alone. Among his most prominent film roles were The Longest Yard (a.k.a. The Mean Machine) (1974), King Kong (1976), Magic (1978), Death Hunt (1981), Timerider (1982) Death Wish 3 (1985), My Blue Heaven (1990), The Rocketeer (1991), Seraphim Falls (2006), and The Artist (2011).
Lauter's television appearances included the role as the villain sheriff Martin Stillman in the How the West Was Won TV series, and guest-performances on The New Land, Psych, The X-Files (as Mulder's childhood hero, Gemini astronaut Col. Marcus Aurelius Belt in the season 1 episode "Space"), Kojak, The A-Team, Miami Vice (season 3 episode 6 Shadow in the Dark), Magnum, P.I. (episode Operation Silent Night), Booker, Charmed, Highlander: The Series, Law & Order, Star Trek: The Next Generation (as Lt. Cmdr. Albert in the season 5 episode "The First Duty"), The Equalizer, and ER (with a recurring role as Fire Captain Dannaker). Lauter was memorable in a rare leading role as Private Detective Bud Delaney in the 1975 NBC television movie "Last Hours Before Morning".
Following his death, Lauter's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against many well-known broadcasting, automotive, and manufacturing companies for exposing Lauter to asbestos, which led to his death. The suit alleges that Lauter was exposed to asbestos at various movie studios and location sets over his 40-year career as an actor in Los Angeles.
Married five times, he is survived by his fifth wife, Mia Lauter, and his four children from previous marriages. He continued to work until a few months before his death, completing roles in several films still to be released after his death.
To honor his work, the Ed Lauter Foundation is being established, which will award a scholarship yearly to aspiring young actors. Reflecting on his lengthy career, Lauter said in a 2012 interview with the Los Angeles Times:
A lot of people say, "I know you," but they don’t know my name. But I’ve had a great run.— Ed Lauter, Los Angeles Times, October 17, 2013, quoting 2012 interview
- The Magnificent Seven Ride! (1972) as Scott Elliot
- The New Centurions (1972) as Galloway
- Hickey & Boggs (1972) as Ted
- Bad Company (1972) as Orin
- Dirty Little Billy (1972) as Tyler
- Rage (1972) as Simpson
- Lolly-Madonna XXX (1973) as Hawk Feather
- The Last American Hero (1973) as Burton Colt
- Executive Action (1973) as Operations Chief - Team A
- The Midnight Man (1974) as Leroy
- The Longest Yard (1974) as Captain Knauer
- Satan's Triangle (1975) as Strickland
- French Connection II (1975) as General Brian
- Breakheart Pass (1975) as Maj. Claremont
- Family Plot (1976) as Joseph Maloney
- King Kong (1976) as Carnahan
- The White Buffalo (1977) as Tom Custer
- The Chicken Chronicles (1977) as Mr. Nastase
- How the West Was Won (1978) as Martin Stillman
- Loose Shoes (1978) as Sheriff Bob
- Magic (1978) as Duke
- Death Hunt (1981) as Hazel
- The Amateur (1981) as Anderson
- Rooster (1982) as Jack Claggert
- Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann (1982) as Padre
- Eureka (1983) as Charles Perkins
- Cujo (1983) as Joe Camber
- The Big Score (1983) as Parks
- Lassiter (1984) as Smoke
- Finders Keepers (1984) as Josef Sirola
- Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985)
- Real Genius (1985) as David Decker
- Death Wish 3 (1985) as Inspector Richard Shriker
- Youngblood (1986) as Murray Chadwick
- Raw Deal (1986) as Detective Baker
- Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise (1987) as Buzz
- Gleaming the Cube (1989) as Mr. Kelly
- Tennessee Waltz (1989)
- Fat Man and Little Boy (1989) as Whitney Ashbridge
- Born on the Fourth of July (1989) as Legion Commander
- My Blue Heaven (1990) as Underwood
- The Rocketeer (1991) as Fitch
- Golden Years (1991) as Gen. Louis Crewes
- Judgement (1992) as Alan Greene
- School Ties (1992) as Alan Greene
- Extreme Justice (1993) as Captain Shafer
- Wagons East (1994) as John Slade
- Trial by Jury (1994) as John Boyle
- Leaving Las Vegas (1995) as Mobster #3
- Girl in the Cadillac (1995) as Ben Wilmer
- Breach of Trust (1995) as Colin Kreuger
- Rattled (1996) as Murray Hendershot
- Raven Hawk (1996) as Sheriff Daggert
- Mulholland Falls (1996) as Earl
- Coyote Summer (1996) as Mitchell Foster
- Top of the World (1997) as Mel Ridgefield
- Married to a Stranger (1997) as Harry, Megan's Father
- Allie & Me (1997) as Detective Frank Richards
- Under Wraps (1997) as Kubat
- A Bright Shining Lie (1998) as General Weyand
- Dollar for the Dead (1998) as Jacob Colby
- Out in Fifty (1999) as Ed Walker
- Farewell My Love (2000) as Sergei Karpov
- Python (2000) as Pilot
- Thirteen Days (2000) as Gen. Marshall Carter
- Knight Club (2001) as Fire Marshall
- Not Another Teen Movie (2001) as The Coach
- Go for Broke (2002) as Warden Lessen
- Gentleman B. (2003) as Harry Koslow
- Seabiscuit (2003) as Charles Strub
- Nobody Knows Anything (2003) as Gun Expert
- The Librarians (2003) as John Strong
- Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation (2004) as Gen. Jack Gordon Shepherd
- Art Heist (2004) as Victor Boyd
- The Longest Yard (2005) as Duane
- Into the Fire (2005) as Captain Dave Cutler
- Purple Heart (2005) as Civilian
- The Lost (2006) as Ed Anderson
- Seraphim Falls (2006) as Parsons
- The Number 23 (2007) as Father Sebastian
- A Modern Twain Story: The Prince and the Pauper (2007) as Pop
- Camille (2008) as Sheriff Steiner
- Expecting a Miracle (2009) as Walter Enright
- The Artist (2011) as Peppy's Butler
- The Fitzgerald Family Christmas (2012) as Jim Fitzgerald
- Trouble with the Curve (2012) as Max
- The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014) as Sheriff Underwood
- Chief Zabu (2016) as Skip Keisel
- "An Interview with Ed Lauter". Shock Cinema. New York City: 3–8, 48. May 2010. Cover photo: Lauter on bottom in a scene from the 1976 Hitchcock film Family Plot at the Wayback Machine (archived August 27, 2011)
- Noland, Claire (October 16, 2013). "Ed Lauter, character actor in films and television, dies at 74". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
... died Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles of mesothelioma, a form of cancer that affects tissue surrounding internal organs.
- Barnes, Mike (October 16, 2013). "Prolific Character Actor Ed Lauter Dies at 74". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
- "General's Role Keeping SCV Acting Veteran Busy", newsbank.com; accessed December 15, 2016.
- Stephens, Chuck (May–June 2012). "A Face in the Crowd: Ed Lauter". Film Comment. Film Society of Lincoln Center. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
Of German and Irish descent,...
- "Ed Lauter On FAMILY PLOT & the Vanishing Hitchcock Movie". The Short Knight Hitchcock Blog. March 7, 2011.
- Ed Lauter at the Internet Movie Database
- James Reasoner (2012-02-21). "Rough Edges: Tuesday's Overlooked Movies: Last Hours Before Morning". Jamesreasoner.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2016-12-16.
- "Veteran character actor Ed Lauter dies at age 74". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 18, 2013. San Francisco Chronicle newspaper, October 17, 2013.
- Rogers, John (October 17, 2013). "Veteran Character Actor Ed Lauter Dies at Age 74". ABC News. Associated Press. Retrieved October 17, 2013.
- "Character actor Ed Lauter dies at age 74". Fox News. October 17, 2013. Retrieved October 17, 2013.