Rip Torn

Rip Torn

Highest Rated: 100% Where the Rivers Flow North (1994)

Lowest Rated: 3% Zoom (2006)

Birthday: Feb 6, 1931

Birthplace: Temple, Texas, USA

Rip Torn may qualify as a "character actor" in the broadest sense of the term -- he typically fleshes out variations on the same role again and again, typecast as genially earthy, volatile, and loudmouthed good old boys. But, love him or hate him, Torn's roles over the course of more than half a century are distinct and pronounced enough to have elevated him above many of his contemporaries, into a veritable staple of American cinematic pop culture.Born Elmore Rual Torn, Jr. in Temple, TX, on February 6, 1931, and nicknamed "Rip" by his father, Torn attended Texas A&M as an undergraduate and studied animal husbandry. He intended to establish himself as a rancher after graduation, but first opted to pursue an acting career as a means to buy a ranch, mistakenly believing that he would hit Hollywood and achieve instant stardom. Instead, Torn scrounged around Los Angeles for several years as a dishwasher and short-order cook, but continued to pursue acting in his off time. Torn's persistence paid off, and he eventually landed several bit parts in movies and television series. He moved to Manhattan in the late '50s, where he formally studied acting under Lee Strasberg and danced under the aegis of Martha Graham; a wealth of movie roles followed over the next several decades, beginning with that of Brick in Actors Studio associate Elia Kazan's controversial classic Baby Doll (1956, with a script by Tennessee Williams) and, a few years later, the role of Finley in another Williams drama, the Richard Brooks-directed Sweet Bird of Youth (for which Torn received a great deal of notoriety). Additional supporting roles throughout the late '60s and early '70s included Slade in Norman Jewison's The Cincinnati Kid (1965), I.H. Chanticleer in Francis Ford Coppola's You're a Big Boy Now (1966), and Sgt. Honeywell in Cornel Wilde's Beach Red (1967).In the late '60s, two key (albeit temporary) shifts occurred in Torn's career. First, he went counterculture (and arthouse) with an unofficial trilogy of experimental roles. In the most pronounced -- Joe Glazer in Milton Moses Ginsberg's Coming Apart (1969, opposite Andy Warhol regular Sally Kirkland) -- Torn plays a nutty psychiatrist who specializes in female neuroses and decides to film all of his sessions, then his own mental breakdown. (Ginsberg films all of the action as reflected in a mirror.) The X-rated picture -- which features graphic sequences of Kirkland performing fellatio on Torn -- was (and is still) widely derided as spectacularly bad. Variety hit the proverbial nail on the head in 1969 when it concluded, "The problem with Coming Apart is that while it suggests some interesting ideas, it can't deliver any of them in cogent form....The results are not satisfactory." Neither are the second or third installments in Torn's "experimental" phase: roles in the first and third features directed by literary giant Norman Mailer, Beyond the Law (1967) and Maidstone (1970). Of Law -- an improvisational, comic piece set in a precinct house (with Torn as a character called Popcorn), The Motion Picture Guide sneered, "Barney Miller may have been inspired by this movie," and Roger Ebert declared it unintentionally funny, but those were the kindest reactions. Maidstone -- a fragmented, barely coherent drama -- stars only Mailer, as a politician-cum-film director, and Torn. This partially improvised picture became notorious for an on-camera sequence in which Torn (playing Mailer's half-brother) attacks Mailer with a hammer (allegedly for real), sans forewarning, bloodying up the author's face while the actress playing his wife screams in the background. Some wrote the scene off as a fake, but many others dissented. Variety observed in 1970: "[Torn] states he had to do it to make his character real and for the film. But he claims he pulled the hammer and had never drawn blood before while acting. The Mailer character is furious and vindictive. Mailer would not disclose whether it was real or not, but i

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Norman Mailer: The American Actor 2012
No Score Yet 3 Weeks to Daytona Sal 2011
63% The Afterlight Carl 2010
27% Happy Tears Joe 2010
No Score Yet Lucky Days Actor 2010
No Score Yet The Legend of Awesomest Maximus King Looney 2010
No Score Yet American Cowslip Trevor O'Hart 2009
28% Chatham (The Golden Boys) Captain Jerry 2009
60% Turn the River Teddy Quinette 2008
36% August David 2008
50% Bee Movie Lou Lo Duca $126.6M 2007
No Score Yet Not Just the Best of the Larry Sanders Show Actor 2007
No Score Yet Three Days to Vegas Joe Wallace 2007
57% Marie Antoinette King Louis XV $16M 2006
3% Zoom General Larraby $11.7M 2006
30% The Sisters Dr. Chebrin 2006
6% Yours, Mine & Ours Commandant Sherman $53.4M 2005
60% Forty Shades of Blue Alan James 2005
34% Eulogy Edmund Collins $42.3K 2004
No Score Yet Rolling Kansas Oldman 2004
70% Dodgeball - A True Underdog Story Patches O'Houlihan $114.2M 2004
13% Welcome to Mooseport Bert Langdon $14.3M 2004
40% Love Object Mr. Novak 2003
39% Men in Black II Zed $190.5M 2002
10% Freddy Got Fingered Jim $13.8M 2001
No Score Yet Big Brother and the Holding Co. With Janis Joplin: Nine Hundred Nights Narrator 2001
82% Wonder Boys Q 2000
No Score Yet Clint Eastwood: Out of the Shadows Actor 2000
96% The Insider John Scanlon 1999
No Score Yet The Almost Perfect Bank Robbery Bob Royce 1999
No Score Yet Balloon Farm Harvey Potter 1999
No Score Yet Passing Glory Father Grant 1999
No Score Yet Seasons of Love Spence Vitt 1999
6% Senseless Randall Tyson 1998
92% Men in Black Zed 1997
84% Hercules Zeus 1997
51% Trial and Error Benny Gibbs 1997
12% Down Periscope Admiral Winslow 1996
No Score Yet James Dean: A Portrait Actor 1996
No Score Yet For Better or Worse Captain Cole 1996
61% How to Make an American Quilt Arthur 1995
14% Canadian Bacon Gen. Dick Panzer 1995
No Score Yet Letter to My Killer Russell Vanik 1995
100% Where the Rivers Flow North Noel Lord 1994
No Score Yet Fires of Kuwait Narrator 1992
No Score Yet Beautiful Dreamers Walt Whitman 1992
No Score Yet T Bone N Weasel Happy Sam 1992
No Score Yet Hard Promises Actor 1992
No Score Yet Beyond the Law Deputy Butch Prescott 1992
No Score Yet Dolly Dearest Dr. Resnick 1992
No Score Yet A Mother's Right: The Elizabeth Morgan Story Bill Morgan 1992
No Score Yet Dead Ahead: The Exxon Valdez Disaster Yost 1992
No Score Yet Columbo Leon Lamarr 1991
No Score Yet Pair of Aces Capt. Jack Parsons 1991
97% Defending Your Life Bob Diamond 1991
No Score Yet Death Falls Actor 1991
No Score Yet By Dawn's Early Light Fargo 1990
No Score Yet Sweet Bird of Youth Boss Finley 1989
No Score Yet Silence Like Glass Dr. Markowitz 1989
No Score Yet Death Falls Dub Farley 1989
No Score Yet Hit List Vic Luca 1988
No Score Yet The Telephone Director 1988
No Score Yet April Morning Actor 1988
45% Nadine Buford Pope 1987
70% Extreme Prejudice Sheriff Hank Pearson 1987
No Score Yet Laguna Heat Joe Datilla 1987
No Score Yet J. Edgar Hoover Lyndon Baines Johnson 1987
No Score Yet Manhunt for Claude Dallas Tim Nettleton 1986
No Score Yet Beer Buzz Beckerman 1985
17% Summer Rental Scully 1985
No Score Yet The Execution Actor 1985
No Score Yet The Atlanta Child Murders Lewis Slaton 1985
22% City Heat Primo Pitt 1984
100% Songwriter Dino McLeish 1984
No Score Yet Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Big Daddy Pollitt 1984
No Score Yet Misunderstood Will 1984
No Score Yet Flashpoint Sheriff 1984
67% Cross Creek Marsh Turner 1983
42% Airplane 2 - The Sequel Kruger 1982
No Score Yet Jinxed Harold Benson 1982
46% The Beastmaster Maax 1982
No Score Yet A Stranger Is Watching Artie Taggart 1982
No Score Yet Blue and the Gray Actor 1981
20% First Family Gen. Dumpston 1980
No Score Yet Rape And Marriage: The Rideout Case Charles Burt 1980
No Score Yet One-Trick Pony Walter Fox 1980
No Score Yet Sophia Loren: Her Own Story Carlo Ponti 1980
No Score Yet Scooby Goes Hollywood C.J. 1979
100% Heartland Clyde Stewart 1979
86% The Seduction of Joe Tynan Sen. Kittner 1979
No Score Yet The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover Dwight Webb 1978
81% Coma Dr. George 1978
No Score Yet The Steel Cowboy Actor 1978
No Score Yet Betrayal Doctor Hartogs 1978
No Score Yet Nasty Habits Maximilian 1977
No Score Yet The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington Actor 1977
82% The Man Who Fell to Earth Nathan Bryce 1976
No Score Yet Birch Interval Thomas 1976
No Score Yet Crazy Joe Richie 1974
50% Payday Maury Dann 1973
No Score Yet Slaughter Dominick Hoffo 1972
No Score Yet Cotter Actor 1972
No Score Yet The President's Plane Is Missing George Oldenburg 1972
75% Tropic of Cancer Henry Miller 1970
No Score Yet Maidstone Raoul Rey O'Houlihan 1970
No Score Yet Coming Apart Joe 1969
No Score Yet Sol Madrid Dano Villanova 1968
No Score Yet Beach Red Gunnery Sgt. Ben Honeywell 1967
40% Beyond the Law Popcorn 1967
82% You're a Big Boy Now I.H. Chanticleer 1966
No Score Yet One Spy Too Many Alexander 1966
81% The Cincinnati Kid Slade 1965
No Score Yet Critic's Choice Dion Kapakos 1963
No Score Yet Hero's Island Nicholas Gates 1962
72% Sweet Bird of Youth Thomas J. Finley 1962
85% King of Kings Judas 1961
No Score Yet 24 Hours in a Woman's Life Actor 1961
83% Pork Chop Hill Lt. Walter Russel 1959
No Score Yet Time Limit Lt. George Miller 1957
87% A Face in the Crowd Actor 1957
94% Baby Doll The Dentist 1956


85% 30 Rock
Don Geiss 2008
No Score Yet Law & Order: Criminal Intent
Jules Copeland 2006
64% The Lyon's Den
Sen. H.M. Turner Senator Turner 2003
No Score Yet Will & Grace
Lionel Banls Lionel Banks 2002
No Score Yet Soul Food
Peter Redmond 2002
100% The Larry Sanders Show
Artie 1998
No Score Yet Chicago Hope
No Score Yet Columbo
Leon Lamarr 1991
No Score Yet Bonanza
Will Hewett, Civil War vet 1971
No Score Yet Rawhide
Jacob 1965
100% The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Mr. Alexander 1965
No Score Yet Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Steve Morgan Ernie Walters 1961


Gunnery Sgt. Ben Honeywell says: "That's what we're here for. To kill. The rest is all crap!"

Gunnery Sgt. Ben Honeywell says: That's what we're here for. To kill. The rest is all crap!

Thomas Jerome Newton says: Ask me

Nathan Bryce says: What?

Thomas Jerome Newton says: The question you've been wanting to ask ever since we first met.

Nathan Bryce says: Are you Lithuanian?

Thomas Jerome Newton says: I come from England.

Nathan Bryce says: Well, that's not so terrible.

Nathan Bryce says: Well I know it's going to be very exciting working with you. I've looked forward to meeting you.

Thomas Jerome Newton says: I've thought about you once or twice.

Patches O'Houlihan says: You're about as useful as a poopy flavored lolly pop.

Patches O'Houlihan says: Line up ladies!

Lancey Howard says: Slade: How the hell did you know I didn't have the king or the ace? Lancey Howard: I recollect a young man putting the same question to Eddie the Dude. "Son," Eddie told him, "all you paid was the looking price. Lessons are extra."

Slade says: How the hell did you know I didn't have the king or the ace? Lancey Howard: I recollect a young man putting the same question to Eddie the Dude. "Son," Eddie told him, "all you paid was the looking price. Lessons are extra."

Lancey Howard says: I recollect a young man putting the same question to Eddie the Dude. 'Son, Eddie told him, all you paid was the looking price. Lessons are extra.'

Zed says: Frank?

Frank the Pug says: Yeah?

Zed says: I'm going to need them together on this one.

Frank the Pug says: Ouch!

Zed says: I'm looking for a new assisstant, it's not field work but you'll get better dental.

Frank the Pug says: Dental?

Patches O'Houlihan says: Remember the 5 D's of dodgeball: Dodge, Dip, Duck, Dive, and uh...Dodge!

Patches O'Houlihan says: You're about as useful as a poopy flavored lollipop!

Patches O'Houlihan says: It's like watching a bunch of retards trying to hump some doorknobs out there.

Patches O'Houlihan says: Will someone catch a goddam ball! It's like watching a bunch of retards trying to hump a doorknob out there!

Patches O'Houlihan says: If you can dodge traffic, you can dodge a ball.

Patches O'Houlihan says: If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.

Patches O'Houlihan says: Learn the five d's of dodgeball: dodge duck dip dive and dodge

Patches O'Houlihan says: Learn the five d's of dodgeball: dodge duck dip dive and dodge.

Maury Dann says: "You only go by once: you may as well go by in a Cadillac"

Maury Dann says: You only go through this life once. You might as well do it in a Cadillac.

Zeus says: So, Hades, you finally made it. How are things in the underworld?

Hades says: Well, they're just fine. You know, a little dark, a little gloomy. And, as always, hey, full of dead people.

Patches O'Houlihan says: If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball.

Patches O'Houlihan says: If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.

Patches O'Houlihan says: I drink my own urine cause it's sterile and it tastes good.

Patches O'Houlihan says: Necessary? Is it necessary for me to drink my own urine?

Peter LaFleur says: Probably not.

Patches O'Houlihan says: No, but I do it anyway because it's sterile and I like the taste.

Patches O'Houlihan says: You're about as useful as a poopie flavored lollipop!

Patches O'Houlihan says: Son, you're about as useful as a poopy-flavored lollipop!