Erin Brockovich and attorney Ed Masry in 2000
Kim D. Johnson/AP
12/07/2005 AT 08:00 AM EST
Los Angles legal eagle Edward L. Masry, the often-cranky personal-injury lawyer played by Albert Finney in the 2000 Oscar-winning Julia Roberts movie Erin Brockovich, died of complications from diabetes on Monday, said his son, Louis Masry. He was 73.
Masry and Brockovich, his legal assistant, became populist heroes when they won a $333 million settlement on behalf of more than 600 residents of the town of Hinkley, Calif., where they claimed a Pacific Gas & Electric's gas-compressor station leaked carcinogens into the groundwater.
Masry, who practiced law for more than 40 years, earned a law degree from Loyola Law School even though he never received a bachelor's degree. He started his law practice in L.A. in 1961, reports the Associated Press.
Masry's wife, Joette, five children and 10 grandchildren survive him.