I guess it’s a little weird to be upset when celebrities pass away, but then few celebrities are as cool as Peter Boyle.
He’s got a permanent place on my cool list just for his performance in Young Frankenstein, of course. But he was great in everything I saw him in — the “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose” episode of “The X-Files,” and every episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond.” It’s a shame that series was so popular and long-running that it created a backlash, since it was consistently funny and frequently genuinely moving, and Boyle was always one of the stand-outs.
What always impressed me the most about Peter Boyle was that he just seemed to “get” it. He wasn’t just somebody delivering funny lines; he was a real comedic actor. The difference is knowing how to play a character as a real person — even an obnoxious or belligerent person — and work it so that it’s true to the character and still comes across as funny and relatable. Reading his obituary makes it sound like he had a pretty interesting life off-screen as well.
Update: Entertainment Weekly’s PopWatch blog has the best obituary of Boyle I’ve seen.