'Shameless' Ed Lauter dies of mesothelioma at 74

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ed-lauter-dead-gi.jpgCharacter actor extraordinaire Ed Lauter, who most recently appeared in Showtime's "Shameless," has passed away at the age of 74.

Lauter, whose career spanned five decades, lost a battle with mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer most commonly caused by asbestos exposure, on Wednesday (Oct. 16), his publicist Edward Lozzi tells the AP.

The veteran TV actor began his career in 1971 with appearances on "Mannix" and "Cannon," before appearing in such films as 1974's original "The Longest Yard" and Alfred Hitchcock's last movie, "The Family Plot." Lauter worked steadily throughout the years, recently landing roles in 2011's "The Artist," 2012's "Trouble with the Curve" and, most notably, a four episode arc in Season 3 of "Shameless"

Lauter continued to work until only a few months ago, resulting in appearances in four films that will be released posthumously.
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images