More sad news on the Coronavirus front as several actors and artists have passed away from the deadly disease sweeping the globe. Actor Jay Benedict died Monday from the disease at age 68. He is best known in the states for roles in 1986's classic sci-fi thriller Aliens and 2012's blockbuster hit The Dark Knight Rises. Overseas he is perhaps best known for his starring role in the U.K. TV series Emmerdale.
The news of Jay Benedict's death was first reported by TCG Artist Management's Kristin Tarry. She has represented the actor for over twenty years. She had this to say about his death on Monday.
"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear client Jay Benedict, who this afternoon lost his battle with COVID-19. Our thoughts are with his family."
Jay Benedict's role in Aliens was greatly expanded in James Cameron's director's cut of the 1986 box office hit. He played Newt's father, with a major scene featuring the actor returned in a later version of the movie. In The Dark Knight Rises he played Rich Twit for director Christopher Nolan. On Emmerdale, he played Doug Hamilton in the series, which has aired in the UK. since 1972. He made his first appearance on the show in the late '90s.
The actor is survived by wife Phoebe Scholfield and their two sons Freddie andLeopold. Friend Pierce Brosnan posted a lengthy tribute on Instagram to the late actor. He had this to say about Jay Benedict.
"My dearest friend Jay Benedict, brother in this life, has passed on... we were friends for so many years, forty years and change. This is a photo taken last May outside the stage door of the Lyric theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue London. Jay and I played brothers in a Franco Zeffirelli production of Filumena... Life was so much fun with Jay, on stage and off, we laughed a lot at the world around us, at our selves, saw the funny side of life always."
"He was a courageous man of handsome life force, that shone its light in every room he walked into, down every road he traveled, he shared his joyful radiance of kinship with all who knew him, a fine mind of intellect and compassion, he gave of himself in every way to the craft of acting, but above all else, he gave us all his great love of life, himself."
Vicki Michelle, who co-starred with Benedict on Emmerdale, also had fond words for her friend, which she posted on twitter.
Jay Benedict was also remembered by actor David Menkin, who went onto say, "Jay Benedict - one of the greats - passed away today. If you work in ADR, dubbing, voiceovers, theatre or film in London, you know why we're heartbroken; a big voice and even bigger personality has left us." Benedict is the most recent in a list of celebrities, actors and artist who have lost their lives to the deadly virus sweeping across the globe at this time. Patricia Bosworth succumbed to the disease on Thursday at 86. She acted opposite Audrey Hepburn but was perhaps better known for writing several biographies on Marlon Brando Montgomery Clift, and other Hollywood luminaries.
Fountains of Wayne singer and songwriter Adam Schlesinger passed away last Wednesday from complications of COVID-19. Jazz pianist and teacher Ellis Marsalis Jr. also passed that same Wednesday. And over the weekend, actress Lee Fierro, best known for playing Mrs. Kintner in Steven Spielberg's classic Jaws died from the virus at age 91. This latest breaking news was first shared by USA Today.
He also played the police chief in 'Beverly Hills Cop II' and mogul Louis B. Mayer in 'Gable and Lombard.'
Allen Garfield, the New Jersey character actor who specialized in playing nervous types while appearing in such films as The Conversation, The Candidate, The Stunt Man and Nashville, has died. He was 80.
His sister, Lois Goorwitz, confirmed his death in a brief conversation with The Hollywood Reporter.
Earlier, actress Ronee Blakley posted the news of Garfield's death on Facebook, saying that he had died Tuesday and that the cause was COVID-19. Garfield and Blakley played husband and wife in Robert Altman's Nashville 1975.
Garfield suffered a stroke as he was set to appear in Roman Polanski's The Ninth Gate 1999, then suffered another one in 2004 that led him to reside at the Motion Picture Country Home and Hospital in Woodland Hills. A spokeswoman for the MPTF facility did not know if Garfield was there at the time of his death.
Born Allen Goorwitz on Nov. 22, 1939, in Newark, he went by his real name in several films, including The Brink's Job 1978 and One From the Heart 1981, midway through his career.
Garfield boxed as an amateur, worked as a sportswriter and studied with Lee Strasberg and Elia Kazan at the Actors Studio in New York. He appeared often onstage before making his film debut in Orgy Girls '69, followed by other big-screen appearances in 1971 in Woody Allen's Bananas and The Organization, starring Sidney Poitier.
Often playing jumpy types, he worked for Francis Ford Coppola in The Conversation 1974 and The Cotton Club 1984 and for Wim Wenders in A State of Things 1982 and Until the End of the World 1991.
He also portrayed Louis B. Mayer in Gable and Lombard 1976 and police chief Harold Lutz in Beverly Hills Cop II 1987, and his résumé also included roles in Teachers 1984, Desert Bloom 1986, Dick Tracy 1990, Destiny Turns on the Radio 1995 and The Majestic 2001.
"The reason I didChief Zabu is that Allen Garfield is from the Actors Studio, I'm from the Actors Studio, and we worked together there on stuff," actress Marianna Hill said in a 2016 interview with Shaun Chang for the Hill Place blog. "Allen Garfield happens to be a great actor. He's a really underrated actor. Allen was the hardest-working actor, but nobody realizes that about him because he seems to be a natural."