Actor Ron Silver has died of esophageal cancer at the age of 62. Born in New York, Silver took a Master’s in Chinese History from St. John’s University, taught Spanish, and even worked for the U.S. Government in Taiwan before starting to act off-Broadway. He moved on to TV (including a recurring role in “Rhoda”) and movies, where he is perhaps best known for playing a rigidly casual Alan Dershowitz to Jeremy Irons’ languidly formal Claus von Bulow in Reversal of Fortune. He also acted on Broadway, winning praise in Hurlyburly and a Tony Award as Best Actor in David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow. Silver was politically engaged, and after starting as a liberal, co-founding the Creative Coalition with (among others) Susan Sarandon and Alec Baldwin, moved right after 9/11, supporting Republican Presidential candidates George W. Bush in 2004 and Rudolph Giuliani in 2008. Playbill describes him as “an intense, versatile actor,” and though the above clip — one of few available, alas –doesn’t begin to show the range of his abilities, it captures some of the fire of his acting.