Unfortunately we've lost another one of those semi-nameless yet instantly-admired character actors. You may not recognize the name James Gammon right off the bat, but rest assured that you've seen and enjoyed his work in numerous films. When I heard that the man passed away yesterday at the age of 70, I immediately thought of his gruff voice belying a strange sweetness in David Ward's Major League (he was the manager), but you guys may remember Mr. Gammon from films like Urban Cowboy, Silverado, Revenge, Silver Bullet, Cabin Boy, Wyatt Earp, Cold Mountain, Appaloosa, and some great voice work in The Iron Giant.
The actor also did quite a few westerns that were slightly before my time, in addition to lots of other television and film work. And while James Gammon will probably be best-remembered for that wonderfully distinctive voice, I think he worked so damn often because he was just a great actor. Movie stars would be nowhere without support from performers like Gammon, and so we bid a sad farewell to yet another of Hollywood's coolest back-up players.
For more on Mr. Gammon, check out this New York Times piece and the actor's (rather impressive) IMDb page. The Cinematical staff offers its sincere condolences to his friends and family.