Thursday, December 14, 2006

Frankenstein's Boyle Is Dead

Peter Boyle, the veteran actor who played a tap-dancing monster in Young Frankenstein, has died, the Associated Press reported. He was 71. Boyle died Dec. 12 at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He had been suffering from multiple myeloma and heart disease, his publicist, Jennifer Plante, told the AP.

Boyle, who had made a career playing tough guys, broke out of that mold with Young Frankenstein, Mel Brooks' 1974 send-up of horror films. The latter 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."

Boyle last well-known role was as the curmudgeonly father in the hit CBS TV sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, which ran for 10 years.

Boyle met his wife, Loraine Alterman, on the set of Young Frankenstein, when she visited as a reporter for Rolling Stone magazine and Boyle, still in monster makeup, asked her for a date, the AP reported.

Boyle won an Emmy in 1996 for his guest-starring role in "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose," an episode of The X-Files.

One of his final film roles came in 2004, when he played Old Man Wickles in Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.

The son of a local TV personality in Philadelphia, Boyle was educated in Roman Catholic schools and spent three years in a monastery before abandoning his religious studies.

He traveled to New York to study with Uta Hagen, supporting himself for five years with various jobs, including postal worker, waiter, maitre d' and office temp. Finally, he was cast in a road company version of The Odd Couple. When the play reached Chicago he quit to study with that city's famed improvisational troupe Second City.

Upon returning to New York, he began to land roles in TV commercials, off-Broadway plays and finally films. Boyle made New York City his home. He and his wife had two daughters, Lucy and Amy.

1 comment:

Pete said...

He was great.