AceShowbiz - Filmmaker Rob Reiner and his "This Is Spinal Tap" star Michael McKean have paid tribute to actor and humorist Tony Hendra following his death on Thursday, March 4.
Hendra, who played Spinal Tap's bumbling manager, lost his battle with Lou Gehrig's disease in New York. He was 79. He was first diagnosed with the condition, aka amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2019.
A member of the Cambridge University Footlights revue in the early 1960s, the Brit appeared onstage with both John Cleese and Graham Chapman. He moved to the U.S. in 1964 and with his comedy partner Nick Ullett he opened for the legendary Lenny Bruce in New York.
As a writer, he penned skits for popular U.K. comedy series "That Was the Week That Was" and "Playboy After Dark" before landing a job at National Lampoon magazine, where he became a member of America's fledgling underground satire scene, which included John Belushi and Christopher Guest, who cast him as Ian Faith in "This is Spinal Tap".
As the movie rock band's long-suffering manager, Faith was responsible for one of the film's funniest moments - picking up a small-scale Stonehenge monument for the group's stage set.
Paying tribute to the writer and actor on Friday, Reiner called him "a brilliant satirist", while McKean added, "R.I.P. Tony Hendra."
Hendra also appeared in "Jumpin' Jack Flash", opposite Whoopi Goldberg, and TV shows like "Miami Vice" and "Suits". He published a memoir in 2004, titled "Father Joe: The Man Who Saved My Soul", which prompted his estranged daughter, Jessica, to accuse him of molesting her. He denied the accusations.