On television he played such figures as Richard Nixon, Lyndon B. Johnson and Walt Whitman.
A reputation for volatility: Torn became known for his temper, a trait he acknowledged with chagrin: "I have certain flaws in my makeup. Something called rise-ability", Torn told writer Studs Terkel for "Working", a 1974 book about people and their jobs. But the word got around that I was hard and unreliable. "I get saddened by things easily".
"Rip has an unabashed masculine drive".
"Oh no, RIP Rip Torn, the only man whose surname - as a friend once pointed out - represents the effect of having performed the action indicated by his first name". After graduating, he and first wife Ann Wedgeworth moved to NY in the late 1950s.
"Looking back on decades of Rip Torn's work and can't think of a single performance that could have been bettered by another actor". His other TV credits included Law & Order: Criminal Intent, The Lyon's Den, Will & Grace, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Torn made his Broadway debut in 1959 as part of the original cast of Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth as "Tom, Jr.", a role he would reprise for the feature film and TV movie adaptations.
More tributes to the actor have flooded in on social media. He earned a Tony Award nomination in 1960 for his performance.
A run on the NBC sitcom "30 Rock" brought Torn another Emmy nomination in 2008.
Of course, Rip Torn can be recognized from dozens of roles in major movies as well.