Actor From Iconic Movie Passes Away At 83

Actor Zack Norman, known for his memorable role as crocodile-loving antiquities smuggler Ira in the 1984 film “Romancing The Stone,” has passed away at the age of 83. His son-in-law confirmed to Deadline that Norman died from ‘natural causes’ at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank on Sunday night.

Norman’s career spanned several decades, during which he showcased his talent in both film and television. Aside from his iconic role in “Romancing The Stone,” he also appeared in the 1990 film “Cadillac Man” and had a recurring role in the TV series “The Nanny” from 1993 to 1995.

Born Howard Zuker on May 27, 1940, Norman initially pursued a different path, earning an MBA from Harvard Business School. However, his passion for entertainment eventually led him to the world of acting and comedy.

In the 1960s, Norman worked as a comedian, performing at prestigious venues such as the Playboy Clubs, the Flamingo, and Copacabana, often sharing the stage with renowned acts like the Temptations. Later, he ventured to Europe, where he entertained U.S. Army personnel stationed in Frankfurt, Germany, by performing at army clubs across Western Europe.

Norman made his television debut on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” in 1969, marking the beginning of a successful career in both television and film. Throughout the 1970s, he appeared in numerous films before achieving widespread recognition for his role as Cousin Ira in “Romancing The Stone.”

His portrayal of Ira, a character with a penchant for crocodiles, left a lasting impression on audiences, with his memorable line, “Look at those snappers!” Norman’s versatility as an actor was further demonstrated in films like “America” (1986) and “Chief Zabu” (1988), which he co-directed and starred in.

Norman collaborated with filmmaker Henry Jaglom on multiple projects, including “Venice/Venice” (1992), “Festival in Cannes” (2001), “Hollywood Dreams” (2006), and “Ovation” (2015), showcasing his dedication to the craft and his willingness to explore diverse roles.

In addition to his film work, Norman also made notable appearances on television, including guest roles on shows like “The A-Team” and a memorable episode of “Baywatch” in 1993.

Beyond his acting career, Norman was also a passionate art collector, acquiring several pieces by acclaimed artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. His keen eye for art led to significant investments, including the purchase of Basquiat’s “Hannibal” in 1982, which later sold for a substantial sum at auction.

Norman’s legacy extends beyond his contributions to the entertainment industry; he leaves behind a loving family, including his wife Nancy, sister Jane, daughters Lori and Tracy, sons Stephen and Michael, and 14 grandchildren.

With his passing, the entertainment world has lost a talented actor whose performances will be remembered and cherished by audiences for years to come. Norman’s impact on both the stage and screen serves as a testament to his remarkable talent and enduring legacy.