Actor (1939 - 2013)

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Nice job, Ralph. Jimmy would be proud. Laughter was his metier. It was his way of looking at the world, tongue-in-cheek, finding humor in the over-serious, and using humor to deprecate the injustices that others treat with self-righteous anger. Jim's was the broader view, the one that sees our transient window of being as an opportunity to find joy. We clicked from the moment we met in 1968 at the Corner Bistro in NYC's West Village. We took turns injecting devilish comments into an overly zealous political conversation between friends and sharing amusement at their incendiary effect. Some of my most memorable laughs were with Jimmy - as when he spontaneously grabbed a red dinner napkin from a restaurant table, tucked a corner into his nose, slumped back in his chair, and closed his eyes with the rest of the red napkin splayed across his chest. "Great White Hope," he murmured. The rest of us at the table convulsed.

You were a very dear friend, Jim, though we lived a continent apart. I miss you and am jealous of those now benefiting from your wit. I'll look for you when my flame burns out.

Peter Irwin