In a story from the Los Angeles Times, veteran character actor Henry Gibson has died at the age of 73.

The actor made his mark in the late 1960s as the flower-holding poet on TV's landmark comedy satire Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In.

The actor died late on Monday night at his home in Malibu. He had been battling cancer.

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More recently the actor had portrayed Judge Clark Brown on Boston Legal.

Gibson's family stated that he used his fame to help support the fledgling environmental movement. He also contributed pieces and poetry to newspapers and other publications.

The actor played Haven Hamilton in director Robert Altman's 1975 film Nashville. He wrote most of his character's songs and then received a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor.

He also played an Illinois Nazi in The Blues Brothers, a crazy neighbor in The 'burbs, as well as a priest in the Wedding Crashers. He also voiced Wilbur the Pig in the animated Charlotte's Web.

The actor was born James Bateman on Sept. 21, 1935, in Germantown, Pa. He started acting professionally at age 8 as a touring performer for nine years with the Mae Desmond Theatre.

Gibson earned a bachelor's degree in drama at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He then served in the Air Force as an intelligence officer with the 66th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing in France from 1957 to 1960. After that he studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

According to actor Jon Voight, Henry Gibson took his name as a derivative of playwright Henrik Ibsen's name.

Gibson's big screen debut came when he played a college student in Jerry Lewis' 1963 comedy The Nutty Professor.

The late actors wife of more than 40 years, Lois, passed away in 2007.

Henry Gibson is survived by his sons Jon, Charles and James; three sisters, Adele Donahue, Mary Lee and Elizabeth Malloy; and two grandchildren.

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Evan Jacobs