I make it my duty to acknowledge the passing of character actors here at The Back Row, and the world recently lost another one when English actor Ian Abercrombie passed away of a heart attack on January 26, 2012 at the age of 77. As you can see by the preceding photo, Mr. Abercombie bought himself a “lifetime coolness” ticket when he appeared as the Wiseman in Sam Raimi’s cult classic, Army of Darkness. He’s the one who futily tells Ash to remember the words “klaatu barada nikto”, only for Ash to completely screw things up.
Abercrombie acted in over 180 films and television shows throughout his long career, and some of his most memorable roles include a stint as Alfred Pennyworth on the TV series, Birds of Prey, and providing the voice of Chancellor Palpatine in the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars. However, he will always be best known as Elaine’s very picky and eccentric boss, Justin Pitt, on Seinfeld. While being interviewed in a featurette on one of the Seinfeld DVDs, Abercrombie remarked that he used to be able to go anywhere in public without being recognized, but after only one appearance on Seinfeld, virtually EVERYBODY he ran into was recognizing him Mr. Pitt! R.I.P. Mr. Abercrombe, and in tribute, I’m going to go eat a Snickers bar with a knife and fork.