Richard Farnsworth dead at 80

Oct 07, 2000 by Ian Evans

Actor Richard Farnsworth, who was nominated this year for a Best Actor Oscar® for his performance in The Straight Story, shot himself to death at the age of 80.

Police say that the actor, who had terminal cancer, shot himself in the home he shared with his companion, Jewely Van Valin. She called police after hearing the gunshot.

Born September 1, 1920, Farnsworth started his career as a stuntman and double for Western stars like Roy Rogers. He eventually became an actor in his own right and some of his other career highlights included Misery, The Natural and Comes a Horseman. The latter earned him a Best Supporting Actor Academy® nomination.

Canadian audiences may remember him for his Genie-nominated role in The Gray Fox.