I was just about to log off for the night when I read the news that actor Ron Silver passed away today after a two-year battle with esophageal cancer:
“Ron Silver died peacefully in his sleep with his family around him early Sunday morning” in New York City, said Robin Bronk, executive director of the Creative Coalition, which Silver helped found. “He had been fighting esophageal cancer for two years.” Silver, an Emmy nominee for a recurring role as a slick strategist for liberal President Jed Bartlet on “The West Wing,” had a long history of balancing acting with left-leaning social and political causes.
But after the 2001 terrorist attacks, longtime Democrat Silver turned heads in Hollywood with outspoken support of President George W. Bush over the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Silver spoke on Bush’s behalf at the 2004 Republican National Convention, began referring himself to himself as a ” 9/11 Republican” and reregistered as an independent.
“Under the unwavering leadership of President Bush, the cause of freedom and democracy is being advanced by the courageous men and women serving in our armed services,” Silver said at the Republican convention. “The president is doing exactly the right thing. That is why we need this president at this time.” In an interview with The Associated Press a month later, Silver said his support for the war on terror was costing him work in liberal-minded Hollywood.
“It’s affected me very badly. I can’t point to a person or a job I’ve lost, but this community is not very pluralistic,” Silver told the AP. “I haven’t worked for 10 months.” His switch to a more conservative image threatened to overshadow an esteemed career on stage, television and film, along with his long history of activism, which included co-founding the nonpartisan Creative Coalition, an advocacy group for entertainers.
He was 62, and had a son and a daughter.
There are two groups of people in this country who are probably maligned and slandered by the “tolerant left” more than any other, and they are the minority conservatives and Hollywood conservatives. Sounds like Silver took a hit from liberals in Hollywood the more active he became in conservative causes, but thankfully that didn’t slow him down a bit. Unfortunately, cancer did.
May he RIP.
Related: Roger L. Simon knew Silver well and files this report.