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Peter Boyle leaves the planet

Dec 13, 2006 Peter Boyle leaves the planet

"I get scared when I meet people like Joe," said Peter Boyle soon after being catapulted from an unknown to widespread fame.

Boyle as Joe has remained clearly etched into my memory for thirty-five years, capturing the 1970 period of turmoil and upheaval better than any film I know, almost as realistically as the terrifying image of Kim Phuc Phan Thi running from the napalm that had already severely burned her body. I was only nine at the time.

Peter Boyle knew the character Joe "so well that when it came to the actual shooting of the movie, I was worried that I would do a caricature." Last October, I mentioned some of the artistic greats who inspire my legal work. Peter Boyle certainly ranks among them.

Peter Boyle passed away last night at 71. With me, he remains as alive as ever. 

Jon Katz.

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