R.I.P. Seymour Cassel, who went from Batman henchman to Wes Anderson regular
Rushmore remains one of the most beloved films of the 1990s. While Jason Schwarzman and Bill Murray garner most of the attention in the coming-of-age comedy, the supporting cast colors in the story wonderfully. In particular, you might remember Seymour Cassel as Bert Fischer, the humble barber and father of the aspirational Max.
The role sparked somewhat of a revival in the career of Cassel, who would appear in later Wes Anderson films The Royal Tenenbaums ("Dusty") and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou ("Esteban du Plantier"). Cassel was already a darling of arthouse cinema, dating back to her earlier days as a constant collaborator and friend of John Cassavetes. The Detroit-born actor earned an Oscar nomination for his work as "Chet" in Cassavetes' Faces (1968).
And to think, he was just one year removed from playing a pink-clad Batman villain.
In the 1967 Batman episode "A Piece of the Action," the monumental crossover with the Green Hornet and Bruce Lee's Kato, Cassel played "Cancelled," one of the printing-themed henchmen of Colonel Gumm.
Cassel had other small but memorable roles on classic TV series. He was an elevator operator in the Twilight Zone tale "The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross." He played a track coach on My Three Sons. He also popped up in episodes of Wagon Train, The Invaders, Emergency!, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Matlock.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cassel passed away on April 7. He was 84.