Roberts Scott Blossom, American Actor, Died at 87

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Dead, Roberts Scott Blossom on July 8, 2011, at the age of 87 from an acute stroke, he was an American theatre, film and television actor and poet.

Born on March 25, 1924, in New Haven, Connecticut to John Blossom, an athletic director at Yale University, he was raised in Cleveland but later moved to Shaker Heights, Ohio.

He is best known for his roles as Old Man Marley in Home Alone (1990) and as Ezra Cobb in the horror film Deranged (1974).

He attended Hawken School and graduated from Asheville School in 1941 and attended Harvard University for a year until he joined the Army and served in World War II in Europe.

He trained as a therapist and later decided to be an actor, and began directing and acting in productions at Karamu House and the Candlelight Theater in Cleveland and later moved to New York, where he supported himself by bundling feathers for hats and he practiced a disputed therapy called Dianetics.

Blossom was formerly married to Beverly Schmidt Blossom, with whom he had a son, Michael.

He was later married to Marylin Orshan Blossom until her death in 1982, with whom he had a daughter, Deborah Blossom.

In 1988 he was cast in Peter Brook’s production of “The Cherry Orchard” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

“As Firs, the octogenarian family retainer, Roberts Blossom is a tall, impish, bearded figure in formal black, stooping over his cane — a spindly, timeless ghost from the past, as rooted to the soil as the trees we never see,” Frank Rich wrote in a review for The New York Times.

Blossom did guest spots on such TV shows as “Northern Exposure,” “The Twilight Zone,” “The Equalizer,” “Moonlighting,” “Amazing Stories,” and “Naked City.”

Moreover, Blossom was also a poet (he released some of his dramatic poems on video) and a playwright who won four Obies and a Show Business Award.

After retiring from acting, Roberts settled in Berkeley, California and wrote poetry.

Blossom famously used his shovel for more than just distributing sidewalk salt, much to the dismay of the Wet Bandits (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern).

But he also gave their Oscar-nominated Chris Columbus film a heart and moral center with a touch of humanity as he talked to Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) and made things right with his family.

In the scheme of grisly old man characters, Blossom knew how to wear some facial hair and light up a scene as well as anyone.

He even had the Obie and Soapy awards to prove it, thanks to his work on stage and television.

Nothing against Brenda Fricker, who played the bird lady in “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York,” but Blossom will always be the definitive creepy old adult for us in the “Home Alone” franchise.

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