Jack Gilford, who scratched his way back from a blacklisted decade during the McCarthy era with commercials for Crackerjack and potato chips, was remembered by friends as an unselfish actor who loved to work.
Gilford, whose 55-year career spanned vaudeville, Broadway, television and movies, died Monday of stomach cancer at age 81."Jack Gilford was one of the most talented and dear actors that I ever had the good fortune to work with," Jack Lemmon said. "More importantly, though, he had an innate sense of grace, style and selflessness that was unflappable," he said.
Gilford's droopy face and distinctive, raspy voice were known to generations.
He had worked recently on television, sweeping salty-tongued Sophia of the "Golden Girls" off her feet.
Movie audiences also knew Gilford as the oldster who decided against being rejuvenated by aliens in "Cocoon" and "Cocoon II."