Yesterday I posted about my friend and collaborator actor Burt Young who passed away last week but whose death was only announced yesterday. I’ve been working on a doc about Burt for a helluva long time–here’s a link to the trailer. Burt was a mystery wrapped in an enigma inside a riddle. It was hard to account for his past before he became an actor in his mid-thirties. But there’s enough evidence along the way to give you an idea of what his life in Corona, Queens was like if you sniff around for it. Or you can watch the above clip from Karel Reisz’s 1972 ‘The Gambler’ starring James Caan (a longtime friend/fan of Burts). The terrifying scene feels all too real and…well…the Burt I knew was a marshmallow, a man who’d rather be painting or writing than doing just about anything else. But clearly Burt knew the man he was playing (a loan shark) in this clip. And maybe more. The last line in Burt’s New York Times obit quotes Burt as saying: “I’m really a big softie. I just go astray here and there.” Enough said. Bless you, Burt, wherever you are…


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