"That Guy" Taylor Negron Dies at 57
Taylor Negron—an actor, playwright and essayist who became "fame-ish" after appearing in more than 100 films and television shows—died Saturday. He was 57.
Negron's death, attributed to a protracted battle with cancer, was confirmed this weekend by his cousin, Three Dog Night vocalist Chuck Negron.
Although Negron never became a household name, he appeared in some of the biggest films and TV shows of the 80's and 90's, including Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Easy Money, Punchline, Seinfeld, and Curb Your Enthusiasm. He continued to act, write and paint until his illness worsened in recent years.
In a final essay posted Saturday on XO Jane, Negron wrote about always being "that guy."
Most of the time, however, the question is not specific.
It is simply: "Where do I know you from?"
I customize my answer based on age. If you are a woman in your thirties I will most likely smile and respond with assurance: "I was Monica's boss on 'Friends.'"
If you are a man in your fifties, I clap him on the back and say: "Ah yes, you might know me as Rodney Dangerfield's son-in-law from 'Easy Money'."
That's part of the fun of being That Guy.
Honestly, I never searched out celebrity anyway. All I ever wanted was to be a tortured artist who occasionally wears Max Factor Tan No. #2 foundation.
By the time I was 15, I was a child actor, proudly jaded and war torn, glad to have gotten the promises kicked out of me early. I have worked steadily, starting out as a cartoon model at Hannah Barbara and have the coloring book to prove it.
Being fame-ish is comforting to some. I have come to understand that viewers who knew me when they were young grew up with me. Subsequently when I hear, "Hey, you're that guy from so and so," it doesn't bother my ego, it makes me very proud that I am a shape shifter.
And maybe it was worth going on those four callbacks for "That's So Raven."
[image via AP]