Entertainment
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: RidiculouslyExtraordinary.
Posted by Ryan Neal
760a631d0dea2ae92cb6e9f7b157b927
Entertainment
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: RidiculouslyExtraordinary. Posted by Ryan Neal
760a631d0dea2ae92cb6e9f7b157b927
David Huddleston

Famous For:
Blazing Saddles, The Big Lebowski
Birthdate:
September 17, 1930
Famous Years:
1963-2016
Currently Known For:
Deceased
Networth:
$2 Million
David Huddleston



  Famous For:
Blazing Saddles, The Big Lebowski

  Birthdate:
September 17, 1930

  Famous Years:
1963-2016



  Currently Known For:
Deceased

  Networth:
$2 Million


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Many actors are able to have long careers on television, even if they never became the headlining stars that some actors become. Among those is David Huddleston, who spent more than a half century in acting, dating back to the early 1960s. On top of his extensive television career, Huddleston would also add a long career on the big screen, appearing in some very notable movies into the 2000s that would make him one of the longest working supporting actors around.

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Huddleston was born on September 17, 1930 in the small town of Vinton, Virginia, and had wanted to get into an acting career. However, Huddleston would set his dreams of stardom aside when he joined the military, becoming a member of the Air Force. Once his time serving had come to an end, Huddleston would get back to working on his career, taking acting classes in Los Angeles. Quickly, Huddleston was showing a lot of promise and finally got his chance to be on screen after reaching his 30s.

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“I was always interested in show business and particularly then, in those years, in radio,” Huddleston said of his youth. “I used to hang around radio stations, radio announcers and that’s what I thought I wanted to be. But then, as I grew older, I started singing publicly and emceeing shows.” This sparked the interest that Huddleston had in acting in front of crowds, landing him on stage on several occasions in the 1950s.

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During the 1960s, Huddleston would appear on the big screen, albeit in very brief roles. He had uncredited appearances in films like “All the Way Home” and “A Lovely Way to Die”, getting his first credit in 1969’s “Slaves”. That same year, Huddleston made his debut on television in an episode of “Adam-12”. During the early 1970s, Huddleston had guest spots on popular shows such as “Bonanza”, “Bewitched” and “Gunsmoke”, among many others. During this time, he had been one of the most frequent working guest actors on the small screen.

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The big break for Huddleston would come in 1974 when he starred in the Mel Brooks comedy “Blazing Saddles” as Olson Johnson. The film went on to become a massive success, and is still regarded as one of the best comedies ever made. During the rest of the decade, Huddleston would continue to appear in films such as “Breakheart Pass”, “Sherlock Holmes in New York” and “The Greatest”.

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Outside of “Blazing Saddles”, Huddleston is also well known for his role in the 1998 comedy “The Big Lebowski”. The film became a cult hit, with audiences, as Huddleston played the role of the title character, though it’s often thought of by those that have seen the film that his character’s name is played by Jeff Bridges. In the same decade, you might also remember Huddleston from the films “Something to Talk About”, “Joe’s Apartment” and “Life with Mickey”.

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Those roles in “Blazing Saddles” and “The Big Lebowski” are the ones that really stuck with Huddleston, as fans often approached him thanks to these characters. “People still come up to me and recite lines from (“Blazing Saddles”),” Huddleston said. For him, it was the film that he had the most fun filming, thanks to people like Brooks and actor Gene Wilder.

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The “Blazing Saddles” role as the mayor of the town is one that Huddleston almost turned down at first at the advice of his agent. However, Brooks himself called Huddleston and tried to talk him into taking the part. The two went out to lunch and Brooks thankfully convinced Huddleston to take the role. This opened up the chance for Huddleston to land the role of Santa Claus in a big budget film that also made him well known by fans.

On the big screen, Huddleston had only been in minor roles during the 2000s, appearing in films such as “The Producers” and “Postal”. His final movie role came in 2009 in a short segment as part of “Locker 13”, and he had been stepped away from television, as well. After having made guest appearances on memorable shows such as “The West Wing”, “Gilmore Girls” and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, Huddleston’s final TV gig came back in 2009.

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After several years of enjoying retirement, Huddleston had lived a very full life and was living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Huddleston was 85 years old at the time, but unfortunately his health had started to decline. On August 2, 2016, Huddleston had been admitted to the hospital after complications from heat and kidney disease. Those that had worked with Huddleston had been saddened by the news, including his former director Mel Brooks.

“It was a great privilege to work with David Huddleston on ‘Blazing Saddles’,” the legendary director said. “His performance was sublime. He helped make all those Johnsons of Rock Ridge immortal. He was a one of a kind and will be greatly missed.” The city in which he formerly resided, Roanoke, Virginia, was also saddened, with one reporter at the local newspaper saying that Huddleston “was one of our favorite sons,” calling him a “Local boy made good for sure.”


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