Seventy-six years old, Torn has been acting since the fifties. Yes, his acting career spans half a century and he’s not done; in fact, Torn has several upcoming projects working aside big name stars.
Rip Torn has a lot going for him these days.
Well, except for one thing. Just recently he’s suffered a bit of a legal hiccup. Back in December, Rip Torn was driving his 1995 Chevy Cavalier along route 22 in the Westchester County when, at about 2:30 in the afternoon, he tried a curve, and instead hit a tractor trailer. There were no injuries, but Torn refused the breathalyzer test, and was arrested. He was charged with driving while intoxicated and making an unsafe lane change.
Torn insisted that he was innocent, and requested that a non jury trial in June. His publicist, Dick Guttman, denied that Torn was drinking prior to the accident. Apparently Torn was returning from a hunting or fishing trip, and the tractor-trailer crossed in front of him forcing him into a ditch. The grogginess caused by the accident made him seem drunk to police, he claimed.
Then Torn changed his mind, and entered his guilty plea; to being ability impaired. This is a lesser charge than that which he was originally facing, a DWI (driving while intoxicated). The Emmy winner has to surrender his driver’s license for 90 days, and pay a fine of $380.
This isn’t his first alcohol related accident or charge. In 1994, he crashed his Volvo into a Greenwich Village taxicab, but was aquitted by the jury.
Perhaps he’ll cheer up; the show for which he very well might be most well know, the Larry Sanders Show, has just released a four-disc set for fans. The set is called “Not Just the Best of the Larry Sanders Show.” Torn played Artie, the show’s producer. The show ran on HBO for six years, garnered 56 Emmy nominations, and featured several big name stars as guests, including the likes of Sharon Stone, Ellen DeGeneres, Sharon Stone, Warren Beatty, Sean Penn, Vince Vaughn, and, believe it or not, Tom Petty (who EVER gets that guy on a show?). The set of 4 DVDs includes twenty three shows, eight hours of new material, and additional footage.
So, in light of all of his recent successes, upcoming projects, and a sort of resurrection of Artie (through the recently released “Not Just the Best of the Larry Sanders Show”) Torn’s legal troubles will be soon forgotten, but hopefully not soon repeated.
The Smoking Gun