Sources are confirming that comedian Taylor Negron has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 57. Chuck Negron, Taylor’s cousin, of the ’70s band Three Dog Night, released an online video with the sad news today saying, “I want to inform you that my cousin Taylor Negron just passed away. His mother, his brother Alex and my brother Rene and his wife Julie were all there with him. May he rest in peace.”
Negron was born in Glendale, CA on August 1, 1957, the son of Lucy (née Rosario) and Conrad Negron, Sr., a former mayor of Indian Wells, CA. He studied with Lee Strasberg and even had a private comedy seminar with Lucille Ball. Negron interned for Ball when she was 68 years old and he was 19. Negron told KCET, “I learned from Lucy that you never get what you really want and you have to be flexible.”
Further adding what he learned about comedy from her, “What I learned from her was what she learned from Buster Keaton – know your props, know what you’re doing, know where the exit is, know the entrances, know where the camera is. Get there early. Know everyone on the set. Do not pull any funny business. Be a professional.” Negron started stand-up when he was in high school, getting a spot at the Comedy Store and began cutting his as an extra in movies. He made his full film acting debut in 1982’s soap satire Young Doctors in Love as a love-struck, pill-popping, dancing intern.
He was also renowned for playing Mr. Pizza Guy in Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Rodney Dangerfield’s son-in-law in Easy Money. In a KCET interview, Negron said, “I became the alternative everyman in movies.”
He played the villain Milo in 1991’s The Last Boy Scout. Said Negron on the role, “It wasn’t a stretch, but it came as a surprise to me, because Bruce Willis, Tony Scott and Joel Silver had this idea in their head. So when they offered me the part, I thought it was a joke and they had made a mistake in the printing — that I was going to play the first goombah to the left. I realized very early on that Joel and dear, dear Tony Scott really cared about appearances, so with great detail they blonded my hair and gave me that asymmetrical ’60’s cut. It was like Hitler, only softer. I wore Dolce & Gabbana clothing and I looked so strange and otherworldly, and just by the sheer virtue of the fact that I had a gun in my hand, that did all the acting for me.”
It was hard not to spot Negron in any film as his credits were numerous in melange of cult pic such as Punchline, One Crazy Summer, Angels in the Outfield, Nothing But Trouble, Stuart Little and The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas.He even reprised his role as the peeved Pizza Guy in Amy Heckerling’s 2012 film Vamps.
In TV, Negron started off with appearances on 1970’s The Dating Game, and made a reputation as a hysterical guest star on 2001’s Hollywood Squares. Just as Negron was in demand in film, so was he in TV where he guest-starred, equally playing comedy and gravitas, on a slew of iconic TV series including Hill Street Blues, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Ben Stiller Show, Seinfeld, ER, Hope and Gloria, Party of Five, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Zoey 101 and The Wizards of Waverly Place. Negron played in eight episodes of The Hughleys as Chuck Ballard.
Of late, he was fixture in the Los Angeles comedy scene, appearing at Un-Cabaret (where he is considered one of the monologue’s shows original members), The Moth and Comedy Central Stage’s Sit-n-Spin among many other shows. He also performed in fellow comedians’ projects such as Melinda Hill’s web series Romantic Encounters. Negron won best award for the series from LA webfest.