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'City Slickers' Actor Bruno Kirby


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'City Slickers' Actor Bruno Kirby

by Jeremiah Marquez

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Bruno Kirby

LOS ANGELES, California -- Bruno Kirby, a veteran character actor who co-starred in "When Harry Met Sally," "City Slickers" and "The Godfather: Part II," died Monday, August 14 in Los Angeles from complications related to leukemia. He was 57. Kirby's wife, Lynn Sellers, released a statement that Kirby had recently been diagnosed with leukemia.

"We are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support we have received from Bruno's fans and colleagues who have admired and respected his work over the past 30 years," his wife said. "Bruno's spirit will continue to live on not only in his rich body of film and television work but also through the lives of individuals he has touched throughout his life."

Kirby was born Bruno Giovanni Quidaciolu, Jr. on April 28, 1949 in New York City. Kirby was the son of actor Bruce Kirby (Bruno Giovanni Quidaciolu, Sr.) and brother of Los Angeles acting coach, John Kirby. He made his film debut in the little seen 1971 "The Young Graduates," before being cast as Richard S. Castellano's son on the sitcom, "The Super."

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Bruno Kirby

Later that year, interestingly, Castellano was in 1972's "The Godfather" as hefty Pete Clemenza, a prominent member of the Corleone crime family, a role Kirby would play as a younger version in the sequel, "The Godfather: Part II." He was listed in the credits as 'B. Kirby, Jr.,' which helped raise the actor's profile in Hollywood.

Described by film critic Leonard Maltin as the guy cast as the quintessential New Yorker or cranky straight man, Bruno Kirby carved a career out of this in a series of comedies. The most well-known of these are "The Freshman," opposite Matthew Broderick and Marlon Brando. The movie basically spoofed with respect the entire 'Godfather' odyssey.

Kirby starred in the cult classic mockumentary, "This Is Spinal Tap" and "Modern Romance" as Albert Brooks' fellow film editor. He portrayed a jealous U.S. Army officer in denial of his mediocre comedy playing it with deadpan genius opposite Robin Williams in "Good Morning, Vietnam."

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Bruno Kirby (left) in a scene from 'When Harry Met Sally' with Meg

Ryan and Billy Crystal

Kirby was perhaps best known for his roles opposite Billy Crystal as one of his best friends in 1989's "When Harry Met Sally" and 1991's "City Slickers." He was often portrayed as a perfect foil for Crystal's neurotic characters. Other film credits included "The Basketball Diaries," "Tin Men" and "Cinderella Liberty."

Additionally, Kirby performed dramatic roles, proving himself in "Donnie Brasco" and "Sleepers." He played a paroled convict out for revenge on an episode of "Homicide: Life on the Street." More recently, he played Phil Rubenstein on the HBO series, "Entourage."

Married since 2004, Kirby is survived by his wife, actress Lynn Sellers, and his father, Bruce Kirby. Kirby also leaves behind his stepmother Roz Kirby, brother John Kirby and stepbrother Brad Sullivan.

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