Actor Stanley Anderson, best known for his work in the show Seinfeld and in the 2002 Spider-Man, has passed away at age 78, according to a statement from his family. He died peacefully Sunday, six weeks after learning he had brain cancer.
Stanley Anderson gained a reputation as a "President" actor, having played the President in a number of movies. His most notable outing as a President was in the 1998 action flick Armageddon. Even when he wasn't playing Presidents, he regularly seemed to be cast into the role of some other kind of government official, such as judges, senators and generals. In fact, in Spider-Man, he portrayed General Slocum, who was the U.S. general who was interested in buying from Norman Osborn, before Osborn blew Slocum and his men up after becoming the Green Goblin.
Anderson also appeared in the finale episode of Seinfeld, playing a judge. While it was only one episode, it was one of the most important episodes in the series, with the judge playing a rather significant part. Anderson also appeared in a number of other TV series, including The X-Files, Dangerous Minds, L.A. Law, Law & Order, and The Drew Carey Show.
Anderson's final outing on screen was in the TV series NYPD Blue in 2005, when he played the character Robert Heilbrenner in one episode. Ironically, Anderson had previously appeared in a different episode of the show back in 1994 playing a completely different character. Presumably, the show executives thought the 11 year gap between his two appearances would be enough to make it not too much of a continuity issue.
Even after he retired from acting, Stanley Anderson continued to do voice over work for Democratic ad campaigns. Anderson cared greatly about political issues, so the voice overs he did for the campaigns were very personal for him. According to his family, Anderson was "most proud" of his work in politics, considering that work had a direct effect on the rest of the country.
Here is the full statement from Stanley Anderson's family regarding his passing.
"We are heartbroken to share the news that Stanley Anderson has passed away on June 24th 2018, just 6 weeks after being diagnosed with brain cancer. Stanley's professional acting career began with the Seattle Repertory Theatre, and continued with the Actor's Theatre of Louisville, and more than 20 years at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. His role in Arena's "The Piggy Bank" earned him a Helen Hayes Award for Best Supporting Actor. His film career included roles as the President of the United States in two Michael Bay movies, "Armageddon" and "The Rock." His television career included a recurring role as Drew Carey's dad on "The Drew Carey Show" and as Judge Vandelay in the final episode of "Seinfeld." Stanley was a long-time member of three labor unions for actors. Concurrent with his acting career, he was well-known behind the scenes for his three decades of voiceover work in ads for Democratic candidates and issues across the country. He was most proud, ultimately, of the part he played in politics."
Even though he may not have been the most well known name in Hollywood, Stanley Anderson still left his mark and will truly be missed. His work in over 50 movies and TV shows, in addition to his theatrical and political work, marked his place in the world. The family statement from The Anderson Family shows just how great of a man Stanley Anderson was. Our thoughts are with his friends and family.