Actor Ed Lauter Dies of Mesothelioma at 74

Ed Lauter

Ed LauterEd Lauter had a long and successful career as a character actor. Lauter was born and raised in Long Beach, New York, and began his acting career in the 1970s. His film debut was in The Magnificent Seven Ride!, a western released in 1972. Lauter went on to play over 200 film and television roles. On Wednesday, October 16, 2013, Ed Lauter passed away at the age of 74 after battling mesothelioma since he was diagnosed in May.

Throughout his successful career, Lauter appeared on a number of hit television series, including Psych, ER, The Office, The X-Files, The A-Team, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Kojak, and Murder, She Wrote.

Despite his success on television, Lauter may be best remembered for his film roles. He broke into the film scene with his role as Captain Knauer in The Longest Yard in 1974, and later went on to play the role of Duane in the 2005 remake. It was his performance in The Longest Yard that caught the eye of Alfred Hitchcock. Lauter was offered the role of Joseph Maloney in Hitchock’s last film, Family Plot (1976). The actor bonded with the famous director and was set to star in his next film. Unfortunately, Hitchock passed away before the movie was made.

One of Lauter’s most recent roles was that of Peppy, a butler in The Artist, a 2011 silent film and best-picture Academy Award winner. In 2012, Lauter played a role alongside Clint Eastwood in Trouble with the Curve. Lauter continued his career up until his death, and a number of his films are not yet released. He will appear in the upcoming Blind Pass (2013), Becker’s Farm (2014), and the 2014 remake of The Town That Dreaded Sundown.

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lungs, chest, abdomen, or heart, and it is considered to be one of the most painful and aggressive cancers. Approximately 3,500 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. There is no cure, and treatment options are limited. At the Meso Foundation, we are dedicated to eliminating mesothelioma and ending the suffering it causes through research funding, education, patient and family support, and advocacy. Join our fight by visiting

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