Award-Wining Actor, Dead At 90

Obie Award-winning stage actor Ron Faber, known for his brief but vital role in the horror classic ‘The Exorcist,’ passed away on March 26 at the age of 90 due to lung cancer. His death was only recently announced, with friend and colleague David Patrick Kelly remembering him on Facebook as a “great artist and gentleman with a wonderful voice and laugh.”

Faber won an Obie Award in 1972 for his performance in the off-Broadway show ‘And They Put Handcuffs on Flowers.’ Director William Friedkin spotted him and offered him the role of Chuck in ‘The Exorcist’ (1973). Chuck is the assistant director of the movie-within-a-movie ‘Crash Course,’ in which Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn) stars. His most memorable scene is when he informs Burstyn’s character about the death of the film’s director, Burke Dennings (Jack MacGowran).

In addition to his on-screen role, Faber contributed some of the deeper, guttural vocal sounds layered into Mercedes McCambridge’s recordings as the voice of the demon, suggesting there was more than one presence inside Regan (Linda Blair).

Friedkin aimed to create a legion of voices for the demon, with McCambridge providing the core part. Faber, however, never received credit for his contribution, which he admitted in a 2016 interview with ComingSoon, left him feeling annoyed.

The sound design team played with the voices, including Faber’s, to create the desired effect. McCambridge, a well-known asthmatic, was responsible for the demon’s wheezing.

Faber’s acting credits also include appearances in ‘Kojak,’ ‘The Edge of Night,’ ‘Law and Order,’ and ‘Third Watch.’ He is survived by his wife, Kathleen Moore Faber, and children Hart, Raymond, Elise Manuel, and Anthony. His son Eric predeceased him.