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Last Updated: Monday, 26 December 2005, 19:25 GMT
Character actor Schiavelli dies
Vincent Schiavelli
Schiavelli appeared in TV series like the X-Files and Taxi
Character actor Vincent Schiavelli, renowned for his eccentric roles in such films as One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest and Ghost, has died.

Italian officials said the New York-born Schiavelli, 57, died at his home in a village in Sicily after a battle with lung cancer.

His distinctive droopy eyes ensured him numerous roles, and he acted in more than 120 films and TV shows.

He was also known for his love of food, and wrote three cookbooks.

Schiavelli grew up with his grandfather, who cooked for an Italian nobleman before emigrating to the United States.

He appeared in the films Tomorrow Never Dies, Amadeus, Batman Returns and The People vs. Larry Flynt, and TV shows such as Taxi and the X-Files.

Typical of his unusual roles was the Subway Ghost in the film Ghost, a character who teaches the film's hero Patrick Swayze to move objects as he seeks revenge on his murderers.

In 1997 the magazine Vanity Fair chose him as one of the best character actors in the US.

In recent years he returned to live in his family's native village, Polizzi Generosa in Sicily.

The village's mayor, Salvatore Glorioso, described Schiavelli as "a great friend, a great chef and a great talker".

"With a smooth, witty conversation, he would make everything look more colourful. I've lost a brother," he told AP news agency.


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