Actor, political activist Ron Silver dies

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Ron Silver, an award-winning actor and co-founder of an organization calling for a united Jerusalem, has died.

Silver, who won a Tony Award for his performance in "Speed-the-Plow," died Sunday in New York City two years after being diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He was 62.

In 2000, Silver co-founded the One Jerusalem organization, calling for a united Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in opposition to the Oslo Peace Accords.

He was a liberal activist who helped found the Creative Coalition, an arts-oriented political group, in 1989. After the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, he switched his party affiliation from Democrat to independent and became a public supporter of President George W. Bush. He was a featured speaker at the 2004 Republican National Convention.

He began hosting "The Ron Silver Show," a weekly politics and public affairs radio program, on Sirius Satellite Radio in February 2008.

While Silver won the Tony in 1988 for his portrayal of Hollywood producer Charlie Fox in the David Mamet play, he also excelled as a film and television actor. Silver was nominated for an Emmy Award as Bruno Gianelli on "The West Wing" TV series and received acclaim for his portrayal of lawyer Alan Dershowitz, a staunch Israel advocate, in the 1990 film "Reversal of Fortune."

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