Bruno Kirby, Classic Sidekick
Bruno Kirby was rarely the star, but that didn't make him any less memorable.
This undated photo made available by Castle Rock Entertainment shows actor Bruno Kirby. Kirby, a veteran character actor who co-starred in "When Harry Met Sally," "City Slickers" and many other films, has died at age 57, his wife said. Kirby died Monday, Aug. 13, 2006 in Los Angeles from complications related to leukemia, according to a statement from his wife, Lynn Sellers. (AP Photo/Castle Rock)
As a character actor, he was brilliant – "the quintessential New Yorker or cranky straight man," according to film critic Leonard Maltin. And when he was elevated to the role of sidekick or best friend, we really got to see him shine. Six years after Bruno Kirby's death from leukemia, we're still saddened that he died so young – he was only 57 – and still wishing we could have seen his career go on. In his honor, we're watching a few of his best roles.
Kirby was only in This is Spinal Tap for one brief scene, but it's a classic. His limo-driver – much like Kirby himself – was a huge Frank Sinatra fan.
Kirby starred alongside Billy Crystal in 1991's City Slickers. It brought Kirby his only award nomination, an American Comedy Awards nod for Funniest Supporting Actor. It also kept him on medication throughout filming so he could stand all that time spent in the saddle – Kirby was allergic to his equine costar.
There are many other great Bruno Kirby films to choose from – and not just comedies, but serious fare like crime drama Donnie Brasco and voice work like his turn as a cartoon mouse in Stuart Little. But we've got to close with our all-time favorite. Once again playing Billy Crystal's best friend, Kirby brought his unforgettable voice, attitude and charm to Nora Ephron's classic When Harry Met Sally…
Written by Linnea Crowther