David Huddleston, ‘Big Lebowski,’ ‘Santa Claus’ star dead at 85

SANTA FE, N.M., Aug. 5 (UPI) — The Big Lebowski and Santa Claus: The Movie star David Huddleston has died at the age of 85.

The actors death was confirmed by his wife Sarah Koeppe who revealed that Huddleston died of advanced kidney and heart disease on Tuesday at his home in Santa Fe, N.M.

“He was never the star,” she said to the Santa Fe New Mexican about his work as a character actor.

“He got to work with or become friends with all kinds of people, including stars, and it always amazed him. This was a kid who grew up without electricity and running water in his home until he was 10 or 12 and he was so amazed as he looked back at what happened in his life,” she continued.

Huddleston’s career, which spanned more than a half century, included roles on television shows such as Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Kung Fu and Charlie’s Angles among others. He is most known, however, for his roles in Blazing Saddles, as the lead in Santa Claus and as a cranky millionaire in the fan-favorite The Big Lebowski where he famously denies The Dude (Jeff Bridges) any help in getting his rug replaced.

“I’ve had a very, very, very, very good run at this stuff,” Huddleston said previously to the New Mexican in 2015. “I have been all over the world, made pictures in Mexico, Canada, Israel, France, and England. I’ve met people who I never dreamt I would meet, all heroes of mine.”

Huddleston is also survived by his son Michael and daughter-in-law Nancy Foster.


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