Ed Lauter
has passed away at the age of 74.

The familiar film and television actor, who has had memorable turns in an endless number of projects, was suffering from mesothelioma, a rep for the star tells the “L.A. Times.”

The illness is a form of cancer “that affects tissue surrounding internal organs.”

Lauter had been a working actor for more than 40 years, with early roles in 1974’s “The Longest Yard,” Alfred Hitchcock’s final film, “Family Plot,” and 1976’s “King Kong,” which marked Jessica Lange’s on-screen debut.

“A lot of people say, ‘I know you,’ but they don’t know my name,” he told the “Times” last year. “But I’ve had a great run.”

In recent years, he appeared in “Seabiscuit,” “Trouble with the Curve” and “The Artist,” which won Best Picture in 2012.

Known for playing authority figures, Lauter has two completed projects in the pipeline, playing a sheriff in an upcoming thriller called “The Town That Dreaded Sundown” and a role in another film named “Blind Pass.”

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