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RIP Andy Hallett (updated)

March 31, 2009

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I hate to write this one. Andy Hallett passed on yesterday at age 33 after a long struggle with heart disease. He was known to fans of Angel originally as the suavely lovable demon karaoke singer/nightclub owner, psychic, and occasional stoolie originally known as “the Host,” and later revealed to be Lorne, aka Krevlornswath of the Deathwok Clan. He eventually became a full regular cast member on the show and, as Brian Doan says in his terrific remembrance, it’s conscience with a camp sense of humor.

Lorne, whose show-biz sensibilities were somewhere in between Scott Thompson of  “The Kids in the Hall” and a more benign George Sanders, was definitely one of the most popular supporting characters of Angel, a darker, sometimes noirish, spin-off of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer that, while sometimes highly uneven, occasionally threatened to become more interesting than the show which spawned it. He certainly got many of the funniest lines, but delivered them with a kind of ageless melancholy and was no simple comic relief demon.

During the show’s intriguing final season, creator Joss Whedon took him to some very dark places, particularly in  “Not Fade Away,” the brilliant final episode, and Hallett went to those places with an apparent ease that belied the fact that Lorne had been his first role. How sad that, as an actor, it turned out to be his one of just a very few.

Still, he is extremely well remembered by his coworkers and fans who, over the years, have had nothing but nice things to say about him personally, as well as making his character one of the most beloved in the “Buffyverse.” Note the literally hundreds of sincerely sad remarks on the thread announcing his death on the fan blog, Whedonesque.

Joe Reid of NPR has more.

UPDATE: Angel executive producer Tim Minear has a very nice video tribute up to Lorne/Andy Hallett featuring many of his highlights from the series over at Facebook.

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