Roberts Blossom, Home Alone

Hughes Entertainment

Old Man Marley, we barely knew ya.

Roberts Blossom, the veteran thesp of both stage and screen who's perhaps best known for playing Macaulay Culkin's benevolent, if slightly quirky neighbor in 1990's Home Alone, has died of natural causes in Santa Monica.

He was 87.

Blossom's daughter, Deborah, confirmed his death to the New York Times.

While Gen Xers will identify him most for as the geezer who gave Culkin's Home Alone character some paternal advice after he's accidentally left home over Christmas, Blossom was a highly-successful Broadway character actor who made the jump to TV and film roles in the 1950s in a career that spanned more than 50 years.

Among his most notable movie credits: Slaughterhouse-Five, The Great Gatsby opposite Robert Redford, Escape From Alcatraz, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Last Temptation of Christ, Always, Doc Hollywood and The Quick and the Dead.

Blossom also played a killer in the 1974 cult horror flick Deranged, based on the life of Ed Gein.

He appeared on several TV shows, including Northern Exposure, Chicago Hope, In the Heat of the Night, Moonlighting, Amazing Stories and The Twilight Zone. During the 1976-77 season, he was a regular on the soap opera Another World, and garnered him a Soapy Award as Favorite Villain.

Blossom appeared along the Great White Way in Edward Albee's staging of Ballad of the Sad Café in 1963 and Sam Shepard's 1970 drama, Operation Sidewinder. He also won three Obie awards.

Blossom, who served in the Army during World War II and was also a published poet, is survived by his daughter and son.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share