Monday, December 26, 2005

R.I.P. Vincent Schiavelli

Actor Vincent Schiavelli died of lung cancer today at his home in Sicily. He was 57.

Schiavelli was one of those character actors you immediately recognized even if you didn't know his name. For years, whenever Hollywood needed to cast a menacing hangdown weirdo, Schiavelli was at the top of the list.

His best-known role was "Mr. Vargas," the Sanka-drinking biology teacher in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, who took his class on a field trip to the morgue.

More recently, he played washed-up kids TV star cum junkie hitman "Buggy Ding Dong" in 2002's criminally panned Death to Smoochy, uttering the memorable line, "Sorry if I smell like piss. You know how it is."

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