So long Pete...Thanks for the laughs

According to the AP -

Peter Boyle, the tall, prematurely bald actor who was the tap-dancing monster in "Young Frankenstein" and the curmudgeonly father in the long-running sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond," has died. He was 71.

Boyle died Tuesday evening at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

He had been suffering from multiple myeloma and heart disease, said his publicist, Jennifer Plante.

A Christian Brothers monk who turned to acting, Boyle gained notice playing an angry workingman in the Vietnam-era hit "Joe." But he overcome typecasting when he took on the role of the hulking, lab-created monster in Mel Brooks' 1974 send-up of horror films.

The movie's defining moment came when Gene Wilder, as scientist Frederick Frankenstein, introduced his creation to an upscale audience. Boyle, decked out in tails, performed a song-and-dance routine to the Irving Berlin classic "Puttin' On the Ritz." It showed another side of the Emmy-winning actor, one that would be exploited in countless other films and perhaps best in "Everybody Loves Raymond," in which he played incorrigible paterfamilias Frank Barone for 10 years.

"He's just obnoxious in a nice way, just for laughs," he said of the character in a 2001 interview. "It's a very sweet experience having this happen at a time when you basically go back over your life and see every mistake you ever made."

When Boyle tried out for the role opposite series star Ray Romano's Ray Barone, however, he was kept waiting for his audition - and he was not happy.
"He came in all hot and angry," recalled the show's creator, Phil Rosenthal, "and I hired him because I was afraid of him." But Rosenthal also noted: "I knew right away that he had a comic presence."

In the 1976 film "Taxi Driver," he was the cabbie-philosopher Wizard, who counseled Robert DeNiro's violent Travis Bickle.

I personally thought he was brilliant in his role as a shizophrenic who thought he was Jesus in the Michael Keaton comedy "The Dream Team." I'll never forget the scene as the group is passing through the Lincoln Tunnel and the paranoid character played by Christopher Lloyd notices water streaming from the walls and Boyle proclaims.."I shall hold back the waters!" Which earns him a "Thanks Jack." from Keaton. Hysterical if only for its brilliant timing and delivery.

Educated in Roman Catholic schools in Philadelphia, Boyle would spend three years in a monastery before abandoning his studies there. He later described the experience as similar to "living in the Middle Ages." He explained his decision to leave in 1991: "I felt the call for awhile; then I felt the normal pull of the world and the flesh."

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