12:05 PM EDT 03/19/2015
Originally posted 10/17/2013 09:00AM
Veteran character actor Ed Lauter, whose long, angular face and stern bearing made him an instantly recognizable figure in scores of movies and TV shows during a career that stretched across five decades, died Wednesday. He was 74.
Lauter died of mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer most commonly caused by asbestos exposure, said his publicist, Edward Lozzi.
Whether he was an irascible authority figure, a brutal thug or a conniving con man, Lauter's presence made him all but impossible to miss in any film he was in. That was so even on those occasions when he was playing a character more bumbling than menacing, although menacing was clearly his forte.
Top 5 Most Voted Stories
Jennifer Garner Was 'Livid' About Ben Affleck's Alleged Fling with Nanny; Affleck Denies Affair
Christine Ouzounian, Ben Affleck's Nanny, Steps Out After Claims of Affair Go Public
Parents Meet Their Adopted Daughter for the First Time: 'Within a Split Second of Holding Her, We Couldn't Imagine Life Without Her'
Lion Killer Walter Palmer Slammed on Social Media, Shuts Down Dental Office
Ben Affleck Nanny Christine Ouzounian Wasn't Obsessed with Celebs, Thought Job Was a 'Good Business Opportunity,' Friend Says
Top 10 News Categories
The most buzzed about stars this minute!
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
More On PEOPLE.com
Got a News Tip?
Send it to our People.com editors!