STYLE

Willy Switkes, character actor who appeared in 'Tootsie,' 'Taxi Driver,' dies in Md. at 83

03/11/2013 04:29 EDT | Updated 05/11/2013 05:12 EDT
NEW YORK, N.Y. - A character actor who had minor roles in "Tootsie," ''Taxi Driver" and dozens of other films has died. Willy Switkes (SWIT'-kehs) was 83.

His niece Ellen Switkes says he died of colon cancer on Thursday at a hospice in Rockville, Md.

Willy Switkes was a native of Washington, D.C., and a longtime New York City resident. He appeared in Broadway productions of "The Cherry Orchard" and "A Thousand Clowns" and was an understudy to Buster Keaton during a 1960 tour of "Once Upon a Mattress." His other films include "The French Connection" and "Bananas."

His characters often were unidentified, such as his "man at cab" credit for "Tootsie," in which he's thrown from a taxi after trying to cut in front of title character Dustin Hoffman.

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