CHICAGO-BASED ACTOR APPEARED IN 'THE FURY' & 'UNTOUCHABLES'
Patrick Billingsley, a charismatic University of Chicago mathematics and statistics professor who also acted on stage, television, and film, died April 22nd following a brief illness. He was 85. Billingsley made his film debut as a CIA agent in Brian De Palma's The Fury, and also played a bailiff in De Palma's The Untouchables (both were filmed in Chicago). Here is an excerpt from the Chicago Tribune obituary (written by Margaret Ramirez):
Mr. Billingsley joined the University of Chicago faculty in 1958 as an assistant professor in statistics, attaining the rank of professor in statistics and mathematics five years later.
He started acting as a hobby in 1969 and performed in numerous plays for the Court Theatre. In 1977, while performing in a production of "The Lover" in 1977, he was spotted by a talent scout who asked if he would like to audition for a film. To his surprise, he got the part.
In "The Fury," Mr. Billingsley played a bad guy with a simple objective: Kill Kirk Douglas.
In a 1978 interview with the Chicago Tribune, Mr. Billingsley commented on the similarities between teaching and acting.
"Teaching has a little bit of show biz," he said. "When you teach, you perform in front of an audience. That's much like acting. As a teacher you're used to being onstage."