Irwin Keyes, Actor in 'Intolerable Cruelty,' Dies at 63

Courtesy of Everett Collection
Irwin Keyes in the 2003 film 'Intolerable Cruelty.'

He also appeared in 'House of 1000 Corpses' and on 'The Jeffersons.' He died from acromegaly, a rare pituitary gland disorder.

Irwin Keyes, a veteran character actor who played the asthmatic assassin Wheezy Joe in the Coen Brothers’ 2003 film Intolerable Cruelty, has died. He was 63.

Keyes died Wednesday in Playa del Rey, Calif., of complications from acromegaly, a rare disorder caused when the pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone, his manager, Phil Brock of Studio Talent Group, told The Hollywood Reporter.

The square-jawed, burly actor also was seen as Shorty the Stagehand on the 1992 David Lynch ABC series On the Air and was George Jefferson’s (Sherman Hemsley) endearing bodyguard Hugo Mojelewski on the long-running CBS sitcom The Jeffersons.

  

The native New Yorker portrayed Joe Rockhead in The Flintstones (1994) and The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000), was a busboy in the original Friday the 13th (1980) and played Ravelli, an assistant to Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig), in Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses (2003).

His film work also includes The Warriors (1979), Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories (1980), Zapped! (1982), Chained Heat (1983), Guilty as Charged (1991), The Silence of the Hams (1994) and Black Dynamite (2009).

On television, Keyes appeared on such shows as Moonlighting, Thirtysomething, Police Squad!, Laverne & Shirley, Tales From the Crypt and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Keyes was introduced to acting when he attended the State University of New York at New Paltz.

Twitter: @mikebarnes4

 

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