Actor and political activist

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Ron Silver, who won a Tony as a take-no-prisoners Hollywood producer in David Mamet's "Speed-the-Plow" and did a political about-face from loyal Democrat to Republican activist after the Sept. 11 attacks, died Sunday in New York after a two-year battle with esophageal cancer. He was 62.

Robin Bronk, executive director of the Creative Coalition, said the actor, who co-founded the nonprofit, died peacefully in his sleep in the early morning with his family around him.

Silver won his Tony in 1988.

He also earned one of his three Emmy nominations in 2002 for a recurring role as a slick strategist for liberal President Jed Bartlet on "The West Wing."

His numerous credits also include the films "Find Me Guilty," "Ali" and "Reversal of Fortune" and the TV series "Veronica's Closet" and "Chicago Hope."
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