Veteran character actor Roberts Blossom passed away at age 87 of natural causes in a Santa Monica, California nursing home on July 8, 2011, his daughter Deborah informed the Los Angeles times.
Blossom was best known for his portrayal of the reclusive snow shoveling neighbor who comes to the rescue of Macaulay Culkin’s character in the 1990 hit comedy, “Home Alone.”
As noted in his biography, Roberts Blossom was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1924. Blossom graduated from the prestigious Asheville School in 1941 and went on to attend Harvard with the goal of becoming a therapist. He changed his mind and began his acting career in the 1950’s.
He won four Obie awards for his off-broadway roles. In the ’60’s he founded the avant-garde theatrical troupe, Filmstage.
His first film role was the 1959 television adaptation of Thornton Wilder‘s three-act play, “Our Town.” His other notable television credits include: Another World, Moonlighting, Northern Exposure and In the Heat of the Night.
It wasn’t until he was in his late forties that Blossom finally found his niche, making his mark both on television and in Hollywood movies by playing cantankerous oddballs.
His more memorable film accomplishments include, but are not limited to:
1972 – The Hospital – cast as patient who dies of medical malpractice
1972 – Slaughter House Five – cast as military officer Wild Bob Cody
1974 – Deranged – portrayed killer
1974 – The Great Gatsby – played the father of Jay Gatsby
1977 – Close Encounters of the Third Kind – cast as a farmer who claimed to have seen Bigfoot
1979 – Escape From Alcatraz – portrayed an inmate who was fond of painting
1990 – Home Alone – introverted snow-shoveling neighbor
1991 – Doc Hollywood – cast as a grumpy small town judge
Roberts Blossom was married twice. His first wife was Beverly Schmidt Blossom. His second wife, to whom he remained married until she passed away in 1982, was Marilyn Orsham Blossom. He has two surviving children; a daughter and a son.
After retiring in the late ‘90’s, Blossom moved to Berkeley, California and pursued writing poetry. He has two collections of poems in print: “J O & Y: Bookies” published in 2001 and “River of Wine,” published in 2002, copies of which can be obtained here.