Arrest shreds actor's low-key reputation

By Guy Adams

Asked to explain how he could walk unnoticed around Connecticut, Rip Torn once declared that "the greatest actors can disappear".

He told an interviewer that friends call him "the Blend-In Man" because of his ability to keep a low profile.

They'll have to think up a new nickname now. On Sunday, the 79-year-old Emmy-winning actor was arrested and taken into custody after police in Salisbury, where Torn now lives, discovered him armed and extremely drunk, having apparently decided to break into a local bank.

The veteran star of the Men in Black trilogy and 30 Rock, was to appear in Bantam superior court today facing five serious criminal charges, including burglary and possession of a firearm without a permit.

A spokesman for Torn has yet to comment on the incident and the police report doesn't say whether prosecutors believe Torn actually intended to rob the bank.

The chief executive of Litchfield Bancorp, Mark Macomber, told TMZ that the circumstances of the arrest suggested the star probably didn't intend to hurt anyone or steal money from the business. Torn seems to have broken in through a rear window and promptly passed out.

Torn was brought up in Texas and has over the years enjoyed a reputation as one of the most accomplished Hollywood hellraisers of his generation.

In 2004, he was arrested for refusing a breathalyser test after crashing his car into a New York taxi. Despite being shown video footage of him swearing at officers, a jury acquitted Torn of drink driving.

In 2006, he collided with a tractor in New York state and pleaded guilty to drink driving, for which he was banned for 90 days and fined.

In 2009, he was given probation after being convicted of drink driving after driving his 1994 Subaru estate, with a Christmas tree strapped to the top, in the emergency lane.

- INDEPENDENT

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