Irwin Keyes, a character actor who specialized in playing villains and henchmen, and who also had a recurring role as a bodyguard on “The Jeffersons,” died on Wednesday in Los Angeles. He was 63.
His manager, Travis Engle, said that the cause was complications of acromegaly, a disorder in which the pituitary gland produces excess growth hormone. The condition, which Mr. Engle said Mr. Keyes had his entire life, can cause changes in facial bone structure and lead to premature death.
Mr. Keyes had been living at a rehabilitation center in the Playa del Rey area of Los Angeles for the last two years.
Born on March 16, 1952, in New York City, Mr. Keyes began his film career in 1978. Early on he had small roles in films including “The Warriors” (1979), “Friday the 13th” (1980) and Woody Allen’s “Stardust Memories” (1980), and bigger roles on TV sitcoms like “Laverne and Shirley,” “Married ... With Children” and, most notably, “The Jeffersons,” on which he was seen in several episodes as Hugo Mojelewski, George Jefferson’s bodyguard.
He later played the malicious henchman Wheezy Joe in the Coen brothers film “Intolerable Cruelty” (2003) and Fred and Barney’s friend Joe Rockhead in “The Flintstones” (1994) and “The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas” (2000).
Because of his unconventional appearance, Mr. Keyes was most often cast in menacing roles. “He was the nicest guy,” Mr. Engle said, “who played some of the meanest characters.”