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Wow, I didn't know he was in Beastmaster. . .
January 31, 2010 12:45 AM   Subscribe

78 year-old American actor Rip Torn got drunk and tried to rob a bank last night.

Tortured thespian or awesomest old dude evar? You decide.
posted by bardic (107 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
FREE RIP TORN!
posted by stinkycheese at 12:48 AM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pick your celeb name carefully. Self-fulfilling prophesies and all that.
posted by batmonkey at 12:52 AM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


That's a pretty good way to let people know you're retiring.
posted by Skygazer at 12:57 AM on January 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hey now!
posted by newfers at 1:02 AM on January 31, 2010 [6 favorites]


78 year-old American actor Rip Torn got drunk and tried to rob a bank last night.

Come on, who here hasn't?
posted by unSane at 1:04 AM on January 31, 2010 [15 favorites]


This is Tom Green's fault, I'm sure of it.
posted by mullacc at 1:04 AM on January 31, 2010


It appears Mr. Torn needs some help. I hope he gets it.

However, being 78 and getting arrested in a bank in his circumstances is pretty cool. I hate to say that.. but it just is.
posted by pelham at 1:07 AM on January 31, 2010


He should team up with James Brown.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:08 AM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hasn't Larry Sanders bailed Artie out of jail before?
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:08 AM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


For his sake, and my entertainment's sake, I hope he makes it to season 4 of "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew"
posted by Doug Stewart at 1:09 AM on January 31, 2010


Rip Torn raises the bar (sets the standard) for Baby Boomer dementia related meltdown extravaganzas.


It's going to be an "interesting" 15 years or so.
posted by philip-random at 1:09 AM on January 31, 2010 [4 favorites]


To clarify: In my imagination having a 78 year old Rip Torn in any form of rehab has to yield more genuinely touching and acerbic moments than any four other prime time shows put against it.
posted by Doug Stewart at 1:11 AM on January 31, 2010


The robbing bank thing is nice, but that throwing confetti everywhere shit could go.
posted by dgaicun at 1:18 AM on January 31, 2010 [19 favorites]


It happens.
posted by jnaps at 1:25 AM on January 31, 2010


I still want him to be my grandfather.
posted by ouke at 1:31 AM on January 31, 2010


The robbing bank thing is nice, but that throwing confetti everywhere shit could go.

I think you are thinking of Rip Taylor. Though, Rip Taylor as a bank robber is a better visual.
posted by ill3 at 1:35 AM on January 31, 2010 [13 favorites]


To be fair, it's unclear to what degree he truly believed himself to be in the process of robbing a bank when the police arrived.
posted by clockzero at 1:45 AM on January 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


RIP TORN VS. NORMAL MAILER

ROUND ONE

FIGHT!

posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 1:46 AM on January 31, 2010 [7 favorites]


He never should have let Hank be the lookout.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:47 AM on January 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


He hasn't been in San Diego recently has he?
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:55 AM on January 31, 2010


This is the kind of complete, absolute fuckup that is at the worst, totally, completely, precedent-setting stupid drunkenness, and at best, totally belligerent, insane, and somehow, endearing.

There is nothing endearing about this. It is purely and simply sad. I hate what alcoholism does. If you don't kill yourself slowly through liver or other organ failure, the utter helplessness of the condition will cause desperate acts. Over time, it rips every fiber of sanity from the most lucid of individuals. I hope against hope that Mr. Torn will ask for help.
posted by netbros at 2:05 AM on January 31, 2010 [40 favorites]


I'm only a little surprised to learn that this is stranger than his prior incident, in which "Police say Torn was driving in the breakdown lane in his 1994 Subaru with [naturally] a Christmas tree tied to the top."

At least his shenanigans have all been victimless (and funny!), unless you count of that son-of-a-bitch Norman Mailer.

This man is a comedic genius.
posted by The Potate at 2:07 AM on January 31, 2010


I should probably clarify that I was being sarcastic, although I still love Rip Torn
posted by The Potate at 2:09 AM on January 31, 2010


Dennis Hopper had to pay this guy most of a cool million?
posted by telstar at 2:17 AM on January 31, 2010


Gawker and a TMZ link, linked from the gawker article? Thin, thin sauce.
posted by smoke at 2:47 AM on January 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


I saw this headline late last night and befuddled brain assumed it had to something to do with a film or something.

I now aspired to have a Wikipedia entry with an 'alcohol related incidents' sub-heading
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:51 AM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yet Mike does move with grace, an arrogant sort of grace that could arouse a man's envy or a woman's excitement. A few actors have that same movement, Paul Newman, Marlon Brando, Rip Torn...

It's all in the body language.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:04 AM on January 31, 2010


I'm with Loco.
posted by srboisvert at 3:23 AM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


There has got to be a Beastmaster joke in this somewhere but dammed if I can think of it...
posted by Confess, Fletch at 3:23 AM on January 31, 2010


Did he master his beast? Or did his beast master him?
posted by Sparx at 3:37 AM on January 31, 2010


He should team up with James Brown.

I don't know, having dead weight around really slows down the getaway.
posted by bwg at 3:40 AM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey now!

And you are thinking of Jeffrey Tambor. Rip Torn was Artie on Larry Sanders but you may know him better as Zed from the Men in Black series.

. for his apparent problems
posted by DU at 3:55 AM on January 31, 2010


A few too many salty dogs.

The title made me laugh, but the story made me sad.
posted by Elmore at 3:59 AM on January 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you don't kill yourself slowly through liver or other organ failure, the utter helplessness of the condition will cause desperate acts. Over time, it rips every fiber of sanity from the most lucid of individuals.

Not to trivialize alcoholism, but so does life.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:10 AM on January 31, 2010 [9 favorites]


You'd be driven to drink, too, if confused fans kept asking you to throw some confetti their way.
posted by Spatch at 4:23 AM on January 31, 2010


Every time someone mentions a story about Rip Torn, I accidentally picture Rip Taylor at first. This story was no different.
posted by piratebowling at 4:23 AM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


rip rocks. this fpp could have used more sources.
posted by krautland at 4:25 AM on January 31, 2010


Well, this is the first I'm hearing about anybof this.

Thank goodness for the Mefington Post.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:42 AM on January 31, 2010 [4 favorites]


Fuck. Does this mean he won't be in MIB 3?
posted by 0xdeadc0de at 4:44 AM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


There is nothing endearing about this. It is purely and simply sad. I hate what alcoholism does. If you don't kill yourself slowly through liver or other organ failure, the utter helplessness of the condition will cause desperate acts. Over time, it rips every fiber of sanity from the most lucid of individuals. I hope against hope that Mr. Torn will ask for help.

The guy's 78. This could easily be the result of Alzheimers or Senile Dementia.
posted by delmoi at 5:05 AM on January 31, 2010 [8 favorites]


Just in case you're curious about his name, from Wikipedia:

Torn was born Elmore Rual Torn, Jr. in Temple, Texas...Being given the name "Rip" is a family tradition of men in the Torn family for several generations. It was given to him by his father, who was also called Rip; although as a young child and teenager he was referred to as "Skippy."
posted by zardoz at 5:30 AM on January 31, 2010


A few too many salty dogs.

Aye! Just fill up me cash box there, mate!
posted by hal9k at 5:34 AM on January 31, 2010


Oh, and I just found this utterly bizarre film clip of Rip Torn and Norman Mailer fighting. I can't even begin to describe it, just read the info on the right.
posted by zardoz at 5:39 AM on January 31, 2010


Rip Torn raises the bar (sets the standard) for Baby Boomer dementia related meltdown extravaganzas.

Born 1931. I don't think you understand what a Baby Boomer is.
posted by fixedgear at 5:52 AM on January 31, 2010


being 78 and getting arrested in a bank in his circumstances is pretty cool

Drunk and armed with a weapon.

BIG difference.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:58 AM on January 31, 2010


Too late, zardoz - already got linked.

From this interview:
“I’ve seen people die, but never go from alive to dead that quickly,” he said...

He asked [Lawrence] Olivier, when he was on his deathbed, “‘What are the greatest attributes for an actor to have?’ Larry said, ‘You mean besides eyes and teeth?’” Mr. Torn laughed a tearful laugh. “He said, ‘Physical strength.’” ...

“But with all the stories and everything like that, there’s nothing in my union, and there’s nothing in law enforcement; they checked me out for three months, the F.B.I., absolutely nothing! I have a clean record!” ...

Around two years ago, he said, he was up at one of his local haunts around Lakeville, having a martini. “I was just making a joke, I’m not gonna say what it was,” he said. “But it was a funny joke in Hollywood; the guy took it the wrong way, and said, ‘Oh, yeah?’ There were three of them. He hit me while I was being held, and I had a job, and I couldn’t fight him, I was gonna be on camera the next week, and he held my head down, and they held me and—I got the doctor; you can talk to him—broke one of my ribs in my chest.

“It was right there in a public restaurant, and the owner knows that made my reputation that night -- because I didn’t call the people, and I didn’t sue anybody!”

What did he do? “They let go of me, and they thought I’d go, ‘Ba, ba, ba,’ right down on the ground. And they’d taken my car keys and everything, and so he said, ‘We’ll drive you home now.’ And I said, ‘What, to finish the job? No thanks!’

“They said, ‘What are you going to do now?’ And I said, ‘Watch!’ And I took the keys away from them, the way I disarmed that guy with the knife... I took my keys and ran like a deer out the door and went and got a boulder, and I said, ‘Why don’t you come out here now, you asshole sons of bitches!’”

The next day Mr. Torn could hardly move, but he got to work on time.
posted by koeselitz at 5:59 AM on January 31, 2010 [5 favorites]


telstar: “Dennis Hopper had to pay this guy most of a cool million?”

Look, of all people, Dennis Hopper should know this: you can beat a tough guy for an hour and leave him heaving for breath in a pool of his own blood with half of his teeth missing if you want to – but you never, never, never fuck up a tough guy's tough-guy story.

Oh, and it was $900,000. Not that it's a big deal or anything.
posted by koeselitz at 6:05 AM on January 31, 2010


Jesus, Artie...
posted by shecky57 at 6:21 AM on January 31, 2010


Another banker that Obama needs to bail out.
posted by Postroad at 6:35 AM on January 31, 2010


Sorry, even a felony doesn't put much of a dent in my stance that Rip Torn is the sort of old man I want to be.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:04 AM on January 31, 2010


Don Geiss is not taking the Comcast acquisition of NBC very well. Must be dark times at Sheinhardt Wig.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:17 AM on January 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


We're not hosting an intergalactic kegger down here!
posted by jaffacakerhubarb at 7:19 AM on January 31, 2010 [5 favorites]


Rip Torn raises the bar (sets the standard) for Baby Boomer dementia related meltdown extravaganzas.

Rip Torn is not a boomer - at 78 he would have been born in 1931 or 1932, making him 15 years older than the Boomer cohort.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:22 AM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nobody reads my coments.
posted by fixedgear at 7:25 AM on January 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


The twins keep us on Centaurian time, standard thirty-seven hour day. Give it a few months. You'll get used to it. Or you'll have a psychotic episode.
posted by EarBucket at 7:31 AM on January 31, 2010


Sad.

Rip Torn is not a boomer - at 78 he would have been born in 1931 or 1932, making him 15 years older than the Boomer cohort.

fixedgear already said that, doesn't anyone read his comments?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:39 AM on January 31, 2010 [5 favorites]


Does anyone read the comments down here?
posted by kuujjuarapik at 8:18 AM on January 31, 2010


78 year-old American actor Rip Torn got drunk and tried to rob a bank last night.


....Spider-Man nowhere to be seen.
posted by The Whelk at 8:18 AM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Postroad: "Another banker that Obama needs to bail out."

You wish. Bring a sponge.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:21 AM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Denny Crane!
posted by feelinglistless at 8:25 AM on January 31, 2010


And now that I've done my MiB quote, I'll say that confused old men are sad.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:33 AM on January 31, 2010


I want to see the movie that he thought he was in.
posted by longsleeves at 8:56 AM on January 31, 2010


Maybe he was just piloting the boat of inspiration to the shore of achievement.
posted by Ber at 9:16 AM on January 31, 2010


Well, I guess getting drunk and robbing a bank is worse than getting drunk and posting news of the weird links to metafilter. TMZ, Gawker, and Wikipedia. That's kinda the trifecta of weak sauce.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:19 AM on January 31, 2010


Rip Torn is not a boomer - at 78 he would have been born in 1931 or 1932, making him 15 years older than the Boomer cohort.

As the dropper of that contentious baby boomer quote, let me please apologize for my sloppiness. I'm a boomer myself (born in 59) so wasn't so much confused about the the designation as reading Mr. Torn (and his wild and crazy show biz ilk) as being the "canaries in the coal mine" for what we will be seeing over the next few decades. That is, the aging of the generation that would never grow old. It won't be pretty. It will be weird.

Oh, and that FIGHT is an amazing piece of something-or-other. Talk about yrrr struggling artists.
posted by philip-random at 9:55 AM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Rip fell victim to the "Salty Dog"!
Ay!
posted by 1charm1 at 10:08 AM on January 31, 2010


philip-random: “I'm a boomer myself (born in 59) so wasn't so much confused about the the designation as reading Mr. Torn (and his wild and crazy show biz ilk) as being the "canaries in the coal mine" for what we will be seeing over the next few decades. That is, the aging of the generation that would never grow old. It won't be pretty. It will be weird.”

Will be?

Y'all raised me, and look how I turned out. Is all I'm sayin'.
posted by koeselitz at 10:13 AM on January 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


Reminds me of the movie "Going in Style" -- except the 3 elderly gents robbed a bank while sober (I think--it's been a long time since I've seen the movie, though).
posted by pushing paper and bottoming chairs at 10:32 AM on January 31, 2010


Anyone know where fixedgear is these days?
posted by Elmore at 11:02 AM on January 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hey has anyone seen that video of Rip Torn fighting Norman Mailer?
posted by m0nm0n at 11:21 AM on January 31, 2010


Hey has anyone seen that video of Rip Torn fighting Norman Mailer?

Link, please
posted by deliquescent at 11:22 AM on January 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hey has anyone seen that video of Rip Torn fighting Norman Mailer?
>Link, please

Are you people fucking shitting me?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:29 AM on January 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yes, Alvy, I think they are.
posted by koeselitz at 11:34 AM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dammit!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:44 AM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Did he try to rob it with a bag of confetti?
posted by Catblack at 11:48 AM on January 31, 2010


my bad, i thought it was Rip TAYLOR, not Rip Torn.
posted by Catblack at 12:01 PM on January 31, 2010


Nobody reads Alvy's comments.
posted by Evilspork at 12:22 PM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


although as a young child and teenager he was referred to as "Skippy."

That is awesome.

Seriously though, people, this thread is almost funnier than the incident itself. I bet at least two or three more people make the same Rip Taylor joke or link to the Torn vs. Mailer video again, even now.
posted by DecemberBoy at 12:32 PM on January 31, 2010


It sounds as if Mr. Torn's had a longstanding problem with alcoholism, presumably one that none of his friends successfully intervened with. I hate to think of it, but it's a fair guess that Torn's going to be spending a fair portion of the already small remainder of his life in jail ... and that's a crying shame.
posted by MikeHarris at 12:38 PM on January 31, 2010


Also, what the fuck is going on with the comments in this thread?
posted by MikeHarris at 12:38 PM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


We've entered the Quonsar Zone check your pants for fish...
posted by zenon at 12:46 PM on January 31, 2010


The Internets says that Rip Torn has one of the 10 (but not 9) Manliest Names in the World.
posted by iviken at 1:00 PM on January 31, 2010


I don't know if anyone has posted it yet, but you have to check out the video of Rip Taylor fighting Norman Mailer.

WTF!
posted by cloeburner at 1:54 PM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised nobody posted this yet: apparently, Norman Mailer fought Rip Taylor in this video.
posted by rainy at 2:25 PM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Upon further reflection, I'm gonna hafta go with Rip on this one. After the ginormous bank bailouts, with those same banks subsequently doing everything in their power to screw the very people who bailed them out, I consider breaking windows and brandishing weapons to be an appropriate response.
posted by telstar at 2:36 PM on January 31, 2010


In a million years I would have never thought Rip Taylor and Rip Torn could be confused, but I'm seeing those confetti lines everywhere and I know not everyone's a sarcastic bastard. Huh.

Love 'em both, but for different reasons. Though reading up on Mr. Torn finds him on the sauce for a good long, long time. :(

Here's to a recovery, Mr. Torn.
posted by cavalier at 2:37 PM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


one of the 10 (but not 9) Manliest Names in the World

9: Buff Drinklots
8: Crunch Buttsteak
7: Stump Chunkman
6: Butch Deadlift
5: Bolt VanDerHuge
4: Slab Squatthrust
3: Big McLargeHuge
2: Flint Ironstag
1: Blast Hardcheese

(if there were justice in the world)
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:42 PM on January 31, 2010 [6 favorites]


but I'm seeing those confetti lines everywhere and I know not everyone's a sarcastic bastard. Huh.



From Carrie Fisher's one woman show:


Carrie comes out, throws confetti on the audience

"I actually got a note from Rip Taylor's lawyers about the confetti thing ....On New Years Eve he must just cry and cry."
posted by The Whelk at 2:51 PM on January 31, 2010


This is not cool or hilarious. The man is a severe alcoholic and possible candidate for dementia or any number of mental illnesses. Sheesh. If I ever end up finally going down the road of crazy, I hope I get to do it without random internet strangers having a laugh about it or TMZ spreading my shame around the globe.
posted by futureisunwritten at 3:56 PM on January 31, 2010


I watched "The Man Who Fell To Earth" for the first time the other day, and I keep getting hit with random flashes of ol' Rip naked. This isn't helping.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 5:34 PM on January 31, 2010


Are you people fucking shitting me?

I thought this thread was the best thing in the world until I saw that link, which is the best god damned thing in the motherfucking world. It gives me a compulsive need to go watch Badlands, Save the Tiger, and Days of Heaven.

Actually, the best thing ever in the whole entire world is fantasizing about going on a three-day hedonistic spree with Rip Torn, John Cassavetes, and Powers Boothe, with a sober but hilarious Craig Ferguson as our designated driver.

And I don't even go on benders. Ever. Honest.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:08 PM on January 31, 2010


(Yes, I know John Cassavetes is dead. Work with me here.)
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:09 PM on January 31, 2010


Thanks for reading. That is all. Born 1961.
posted by fixedgear at 7:35 PM on January 31, 2010


Rip is King.
posted by shockingbluamp at 8:07 PM on January 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


I always get this guy confused with Rip Taylor, for some reason. That would've made this story a lot funnier, I have to admit.
posted by jonmc at 8:46 PM on January 31, 2010


Isn't there a video floating around somewhere of Rip Taylor fighting Joan Didion?
posted by mazola at 9:26 PM on January 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


No that was Joyce Carol Oates. Rip Torn kicked her ass.

And she deserved it, if you ask me...
posted by Skygazer at 11:26 PM on January 31, 2010


Wait, how the hell could Rip Hamilton have kicked Joan Crawford's ass? She died a year before he was born. I think maybe you guys have your facts wrong.
posted by koeselitz at 11:44 PM on January 31, 2010


The Internets says that Rip Torn has one of the 10 (but not 9) Manliest Names in the World.

I knew a great guy with a totally manly name, but he went by some totally wussy nickname. It made me grit my teeth because if I'd ever put the names Wolfgang and Richter together in my head before I'd met him I probably would have had my name legally changed. I mean — Wolfgang Richter how could you not?
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:17 AM on February 1, 2010


You can be sad for a person and still find the humour in their dark moments. It's an important aspect of coping with the human condition, confusing and humiliating experience that it is.

Right?
posted by batmonkey at 1:05 AM on February 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


We're not hosting an intergalactic kegger down here!

Apparently he was.
posted by bwg at 3:50 AM on February 1, 2010


one of the 10 (but not 9) Manliest Names in the World

WRONG!

it's Joe Rockhead.
posted by stormpooper at 8:08 AM on February 1, 2010


Nobody reads fixedgear's comments.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:05 AM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Rip is King.

Nice link, shockingbluamp -

A reminder of how brilliant Rip Torn is/was, and how, sadly, a certain part of what made/makes it shine was the light of some genuine madness.

I sincerely hope this guy finds some peace.
posted by philip-random at 12:52 PM on February 1, 2010


Dude's going into rehab, maybe "as early as Tuesday" (which I assume means tomorrow?).

Like philip-random, I wish him the best in finding his way out of this craziness.
posted by Kat Allison at 4:36 PM on February 1, 2010


I know I shouldn't be laughing, but man, I just can't help myself...
posted by mnb64 at 7:58 PM on February 1, 2010


local news reports are quoting Torn's lawyer as saying he thought he was breaking into his own house, where he lives largely alone, his wife apparently spends most of her time in Manhattan. His small house is nearby and looks a lot like the bank.
posted by longsleeves at 2:22 PM on February 2, 2010


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