ROME -- Vincent Schiavelli, the droopy-eyed character actor who appeared in scores of movies, including "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Ghost," died Monday at his home in Sicily. He was 57.
He died of lung cancer, said Salvatore Glorioso, mayor of Polizzi Generosa, the Sicilian village where Schiavelli resided.
- Associate Press obituary by Marta Falconi, from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Well, this is bad news. I've admired his work in countless movies (I remember Buckaroo Banzai in particular, and the "Humbug" episode of The X Files). But it's also slightly weird, in that I was just discovering another side to the guy.
If you're reading this within a few days of my posting it, you should see to your left, in my list of books I'm reading, Vincent Schiavelli's book Many Beautiful Things: Stories and Recipes from Polizzi Generosa. I've put it aside for the moment -- actually, I left it by the bed and keep forgetting to put it in my bag when I leave for work each day -- but it's a lovely -- and hunger-inducing -- book about Schiavelli's encounter with his Sicilian roots in Polizzi Generosa, the town in Sicily where, according the obituary, he died. Which seems fitting, since his love for the town shines through in the book.
It's a pity, because Schiavelli's book made me want to visit Sicily and Polizzi Generosa, meet the people, maybe get a shave and a haircut (one of his cousins is a barber in town), visit one of the town's bakeries and try the pastries, and hey, maybe run into Vincent hanging around at the local cafe and have un caffè with him as we watch the world go by.