David Huddleston, rightfully famous for his antagonistic role as The Big Lebowski, the other Jeffrey Lebowski, man, died Tuesday from complications from liver and lung disease. He was 85.
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Darkness warshed over the Dude – darker’n a black steer’s tookus on a moonless prairie night. There was no bottom.
Huddleston had a long carrier. He wasn’t exactly leading man material, but that was part of his success. He had a steady run of supporting actor roles–including parts in epic successes like Blazing Saddles and The Producers.
It wasn’t until Lebowski that Huddleston became a hit with hipsters. The Cohen brothers film was a relative dud when it hit theaters in 1998, but has stood the test of time amazingly well. It now tops many critics’ lists. After its release on video, The Big Lebowski moved into cult status, and has grown in popularity ever since.
There’s no word on what Huddleston’s death might mean for the long rumored sequel.
Lebowski, the Big Lebowski, is a pseudo-millionaire. The movie begins with a simple case of mistaken identity. When thugs go looking for Jeffrey Lebowski, the millionaire, they end up in the bungalow of the other Jeffrey Lebowski–The Dude, and the mystery begins.
The film was based on the classic film-noir thriller The Big Sleep, and follows the plot loosely. Over the course of the film, Huddleston’s Lebowski plays with notions of Republican politics, paraplegic mobility, and serves as a model for Korean War era military sacrifice, and a counterpoint for the disaffected Walter Sobcheck–a Vietnam vet.
Huddleston’s delivery of the Big Lebowski was perfect. He nailed the hypocritical posturing that defines the film. He was so convincing, in fact, that his performance–which was truly stellar–is seldom mentioned.
Here’s his most epic intro scene. Caution–strong language.
Cue the Towns VanZandt cover of Dead Flowers.
The Dude: Ah, yeah. Well, you know, sometimes you eat the bar, and, sometimes uh, you know...