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RIP Ron Silver, a Hollywood liberal adored by conservatives

March 16, 2009 |  9:36 am

As you can imagine, yesterday's death of Ron Silver from esophageal cancer at 62 is inspiring many conservative encomiums for the liberal actor who full-throatedly embraced the reelection of President George W. Bush in 2004. In a speech to the Republican National Convention, Silver admitted being "a well-recognized liberal," but rapped his colleagues:

I find it ironic that many human rights advocates and outspoken members of my own entertainment community are often on the front lines to protest repression ... but they are usually the first ones to oppose any use of force to take care of these horrors that they catalogue repeatedly.

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. The president is doing exactly the right thing.

In Hollywood, of course, it's slightly dangerous to veer off the approved ideological path, but Silver's liberal bona fides were unassailable, and he was able to cross party lines without much repercussion.

Here, in an interview with David Frost last October, Silver, who looks slightly ill, talks about his politics, which he describes as solidly liberal.

"I have said things that have angered both parties.... I am socially and economically still a Democrat and always was. If gay people want to get married, God bless them. I try to warn them that along with marriage comes divorce, but they don't listen to me, so good luck. On things like healthcare, I am to the left of most people...."

You may want to check out arts writer Barbara Isenberg's fascinating 1992 Q&A with Silver, posted on the L.A. Times blog the Daily Mirror, here.

-- Robin Abcarian

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