Rip Torn, died on Tuesday at his home in Lakeville, Conn. He was 88. The death was announced by his publicist.

Mr. Torn had six Emmy Award nominations for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series. He won the award in 1996.

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Among Mr. Torn’s better-known movies were two science-fiction hits. In the dark “The Man Who Fell to Earth” (1976), he was a cynical scientist who befriends the title character, a space alien played by David Bowie; in the lighthearted “Men in Black” (1997), he was the head of an organization supervising extraterrestrials who secretly live on Earth. (He reprised the role in the film’s 2002 sequel.) But he seemed to earn his best reviews and his most passionate audiences for films that were not hits.