Willy Switkes dies: 'Tootsie' and 'Taxi Driver' character actor was 83

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Willy Switkes may not have been a leading man in Hollywood, but the character actor was able to make his mark, appearing in dozens of movies, including "Tootsie" and "The French Connection." He died Thursday, after battling colon cancer, at age 83, according to the Associated Press. His death was confirmed by his niece, Ellen Switkes.

Born in Washington, D.C., Willy was a longtime New York City resident, appearing in Broadway productions of "The Cherry Orchard," and "A Thousand Clowns." He also served as Buster Keaton's understudy in a 1960 touring production of "Once Upon a Mattress."

Other notable films in Switkes' career include Martin Scorsese's "Taxi Driver, and Woody Allen's "Bananas."
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