Earlier this week it was reported by multiple outlets that character actor Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister passed away at his residence at the age of 62. While the name is not immediately recognizable, the person is just that. Lister appeared in over 200 films and television roles in his nearly four-decade long career. Most famously appearing as Deebo in the classic comedy Friday and President Lindberg in The Fifth Element. Though his smaller roles throughout his career brought a lot of life to every character he inhibited.
For example, while his character in The Dark Knight is not a named inmate, he is simply referred to as ‘Tattooed Prisoner,’ the role is quite memorable. It comes at a time in the film where the Joker is about to prove to Batman that everyone is just as bad as him. Lister is a gigantic human that looks quite intimidating, and he takes the detonator from one of the guards and says “I’ll do what you should’ve done ten minutes ago.” Then turning the entire scene on its head and throwing the device out the window. It is a moment of release and the scene would not have been as impactful without Lister’s wonderful performance. It is a memorable role.
That is the tragic part about this year as well. The United States and the world has lost so many individuals that should still be here today. Lister is one of many, but hopefully his work can stand the test of time.
Character actors are necessary and some of the most talented actors around. Lister might have not been a huge name, but his impact on the industry and people around the world will not be forgotten.
Lister was in various stages of production of eleven projects before his untimely death. He is survived by his wife Felicia Forbes and his twelve year old daughter Faith Grace. Our sincerest condolences to his friends and family.