The Big Lebowski and Santa Claus star David Huddleston dies aged 85

The prolific character actor passed away in his New Mexico home


David Huddleston, best known for his roles in The Big Lebowksi and Santa Claus The Movie, has died aged 85.


Huddleston passed away at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, after suffering from heart and kidney disease, his wife Sarah Koeppe confirmed on Thursday.

Huddleston was a character actor rather than a leading man yet his most famous film performances were in title roles – as irascible millionaire Jeffrey “The Big” Lebowski in the Coen Brothers’ 1998 classic and as Father Christmas himself in 1985’s Santa Claus The Movie.

“He was never the star,” Koeppe told Santa Fe New Mexican. “He got to work with or become friends with all kinds of people, including stars, and it always amazed him.

“This was a kid who grew up without electricity and running water in his home until he was 10 or 12 and he was so amazed as he looked back at what happened in his life.”