Actor Ron Silver Dies at Age 62 of Cancer

Associated Press - March 15, 2009 11:33 PM ET

Actor Ron Silver, who won a Tony Award as a take-no-prisoners Hollywood producer in David Mamet's "Speed-the-Plow," has died at the age of 62.

The executive director of the Creative Coalition, which Silver helped found, says he died "peacefully in his sleep with his family around him early Sunday morning." Robin Bronk says Silver "had been fighting esophageal cancer for two years."

Silver, an Emmy nominee for a recurring role as a slick strategist for liberal President Jed Bartlet on "The West Wing," had a long history of balancing acting with left-leaning social and political causes.

But after the 2001 terrorist attacks, longtime Democrat Silver turned heads in Hollywood with outspoken support of President George W. Bush over the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Silver even spoke at the 2004 Republican National Convention.

Later, Silver said his support for the war on terror had cost him work in liberal-minded Hollywood.

His big-screen credits included "Ali," "Reversal of Fortune," "Enemies: A Love Story," "Silkwood" and "Semi-Tough."

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