Actor Ron Silver dies of cancer
Silver, who won a Tony Award as a take-no-prisoners Hollywood producer in David Mamet's "Speed-the-Plow" and did a political about-face from loyal Democrat to Republican activist after the Sept. 11 attacks.
"Ron Silver died peacefully in his sleep with his family around him early Sunday morning" in New York City, said Robin Bronk, executive director of the Creative Coalition, which Silver helped found. "He had been fighting esophageal cancer for two years."
Silver picked up Emmy nominations for a recurring role as a slick strategist for liberal President Jed Bartlet on "The West Wing," and he had a long history of activism for left-leaning social and political causes.
But after the 2001 terrorist attacks, longtime Democrat Silver turned heads in Hollywood with outspoken support of President George W. Bush over the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. His death brings tributes from across the political spectrum.
Democratic strategist Paul Begala wrote on the Huffington Post that, "As he moved from left to right he maintained a sense of decency, a sense of humor, and a sense of mutual respect far too often lacking in political combatant."
AP file photo 2004