from The New York Times

Taylor Negron, of ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High,’ Dies at 57


Taylor Negron, a comedian and actor who described his style as “California Gothic” and who brought a funereal, straight-faced sensibility to a career’s worth of character roles in cult comedies like “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “One Crazy Summer,” died on Saturday. He was 57.

His death was announced in an online video posted by a cousin, Chuck Negron of the rock group Three Dog Night. Chuck Negron did not specify the location or the cause, but Variety and other Hollywood trade publications reported that Taylor Negron had cancer.

A Los Angeles native, Mr. Negron used his sharp facial features, piercing eyes and deadpan delivery to commandeer screen roles that were intended to last only a few moments. In “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” Amy Heckerling’s celebrated 1982 teenage comedy, he made a lasting impression as a world-weary pizza deliveryman who brings a double cheese and sausage pie to the history class of the surfer dude Jeff Spicoli (played by Sean Penn).

In “Better Off Dead …” (1985), another teenage comedy, he memorably played a careless, judgmental mailman. To other viewers, he was Rodney Dangerfield’s eccentric son-in-law in “Easy Money” (1983), a self-assured stand-up comic in “Punchline” (1988) and an expressive hairdresser in a 1993 episode of “Seinfeld,” among the many roles he played in a 35-year career.

Born Brad Negron on Aug. 1, 1957, Mr. Negron grew up deeply attuned to the morbid undercurrent of Hollywood’s allure.

[ click to continue reading at ]