Today is the 88th birthday of one of filmdom’s best character actors, Fritz Weaver. I have enjoyed countless hours of his film and television work, including Black Sunday (1977), The Big Fix (1978), multiple episodes of “The Twilight Zone,” “Murder, She Wrote” and “Law & Order” and, most recently, Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight (2013). His resonant voice and imposing height have helped make him a memorable cinematic presence.
Some years ago my mother ran into Mr. Weaver on the street in Manhattan and told him what a fine actor he is, also mentioning that he had acted with my great-uncle, Jerome Raphel, in a short-lived Broadway play called Lorenzo (1963). Mr. Weaver remembered Jerry fondly and asked after him.
My mother may send Mr. Weaver a birthday letter, which I think would be quite sweet. He has been working steadily in roles large and small since the 1950s and although his name is not as well known as those of contemporaries like George C. Scott and Robert Duvall, he’s famous to my family. I hope he won’t mind a nice little note of appreciation.