Willy Switkes

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Willy Switkes (Associated Press)
NEW YORK (AP) — A character actor who had minor roles in "Tootsie," ''Taxi Driver" and dozens of other films has died. Willy Switkes (SWIT'-kehs) was 83.

His niece Ellen Switkes says he died of colon cancer on Thursday at a hospice in Rockville, Md.

Willy Switkes was a native of Washington, D.C., and a longtime New York City resident. He appeared in Broadway productions of "The Cherry Orchard" and "A Thousand Clowns" and was an understudy to Buster Keaton during a 1960 tour of "Once Upon a Mattress." His other films include "The French Connection" and "Bananas."

His characters often were unidentified, such as his "man at cab" credit for "Tootsie," in which he's thrown from a taxi after trying to cut in front of title character Dustin Hoffman.

Copyright © 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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