An actor of stage and screen, Ron Vawter was best known for essaying the parts of Roy Cohn and Jack Smith, a pair of prominent but wildly different homosexuals, both of whom died of AIDS in the 1980s. Having gained experience in performing in small troupes, Vawter took on the play about them in 1980 and was soon touring North America and a few major European cities. In London, he received much acclaim and several awards for his work in the play. He starred in the screen version of Roy Cohn/Jack Smith, but it was not released until after his death. Vawter's other film credits include Philadelphia (1993), Silence of the Lambs (1991), and sex, lies, and videotape (1989).