We lost two men of note over the weekend. I hate awakening to read this sort of thing, but there it is:
1. Ron Silver, actor, age 62. I remember him going back to Rhoda in the 1970s. Apparently he played a bunch of real snotheaded heavies, and was probably the kind of actor who David Mamet (among others) could love. For me, his greatest moment was not as a lead but as a foil: Allan Dershowitz to the Klaus von Bulow of the ever-amazing Jeremy Irons. It was one of the great onscreen verbal duels of all time. If Irons’ von Bulow danced around, Silver as Dershowitz fought in a hard, flat-footed style. Either way, greatness. Sixty-two is too damn young. Esophogeal cancer has many causes, but I will not speculate. It’s just a shame he didn’t live longer.
2. Fr. Joseph C. Martin, Roman Catholic priest, age 84. Among recoverees, Father Martin was, if not a saint, then a holy presence. His rehab at Havre de Grace (how appropriate!), Maryland saved how many men and women from the terrible journey through alcoholism that they’d traveled for years. Every person I know who went through 28 days spoke of Fr. Martin as both a human being and a human being to be revered for his wisdom and compassion. Some people speak the Christian message of God’s forgiveness: Fr. Martin appeared to have lived it. A woman who went to his facility in 1964 got and stayed sober, saying that Fr. Martin took away her shame. She was ill, and alcoholism was a sickness, not a moral judgment of a vengeful God. Requiescat in pace, Father. You did much good.