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Brent Briscoe (1962 – 2017), actor brought genuine humanity to supporting roles

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Appeared in “Twin Peaks” and “Parks and Recreation”

His was a familiar face. Whether it was perplexed by the unusual murders of “Twin Peaks,” or welcoming goofy customers to JJ’s diner on “Parks and Recreation,” it was always authentic.

Brent Briscoe, a character actor who appeared in dozens of movies and TV shows, died Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, following complications from a serious fall, according to multiple news sources. He was 56.

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“We lost a class act on Wednesday. Brent played hundreds of roles throughout his career but his greatest role was to his family and friends. He was as genuine as they come,” his representative said in a statement.

This genuine quality came across in the many everyday people he played, frequently police officers, in movies like “The Dark Knight Rises,” “The Majestic,” and “Mulholland Drive.” The latter was directed by David Lynch, who called upon Briscoe to play another detective in the recent “Twin Peaks” revival.

“I loved him as an actor and a great person. I’m holding good thoughts for all of you. I will really miss working with Brent again,” Lynch said in a statement.

Those who worked with Briscoe would frequently seek to work with him again. Director Sam Raimi, who cast him in one of his most acclaimed roles in the thriller, “A Simple Plan,” also called upon him to play the garbage man who finds Spider-Man’s discarded suit in “Spider-Man 2.”

Briscoe had a lengthy working relationship with fellow actor Billy Bob Thornton. A supporting role in “Sling Blade” helped pave the way for Briscoe’s move to Hollywood. As Thornton’s career took off, he continued to work with Briscoe in “A Simple Plan,” “Mr. Woodcock,” and the Thornton-directed “Jayne Mansfield’s Car.” Thornton also starred in a comedy Briscoe co-wrote, “Waking Up in Reno.”

According to his IMDb bio, Briscoe was born May 21, 1961 in Moberly, Missouri, graduated from the University of Missouri, and apprenticed at The Burt Reynolds Jupiter Theatre. One of his early opportunities in show business was as a writer for the Burt Reynolds sitcom, “Evening Shade.” His first screen credit as an actor was on the show.

He is survived by his father Carl, brother Kent and sister Shelley West.

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