David Huddleston, a veteran actor best known to fans of The Big Lebowski as that beloved movie’s title character, has passed away.
He was 85 years old.
Huddleston’s wife, Sarah Koeppe, confirmed this sad news today to the Los Angeles Times, saying her husband died of kidney and lung disease in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
As The Big Lebowski in the 1998 cult classic by the same name, Huddleston portrayed the same sort of character that made him famous over the years.
He had a temper and a very large personality.
Although Huddleston was merely in a few scenes of the movie, he crossed paths at one point with Jeff Bridges’ character (“The Dude") after a group of gang members attacked him because they believed him to be Huddleston’s millionaire Lebowski.
The film was not a box office smash when in its release, but it has gone on to garner a huge following.
Prior to his breakthrough role in The Big Lebowski, Huddleston appeared on numerous TV shows, including Walker Texas Ranger, Murder, She Wrote, Gilmore Girls” and The West Wing.
He also enjoyed a recurring role as Kevin Arnold’s grandfather on The Wonder Years.
His big screen resume is comprised of such films as 1985’s Santa Claus: The Movie, Capricorn One, Blazing Saddles and The Producers.
A native of Vinton, Virginia, Huddleston served in the Air Force and then studied acting in New York on the G.I. Bill.
He is survived by his wife.
We send our condolences to his loved ones.