Though Riggs and Murtaugh anchor every installment in the Lethal Weapon franchise, every entry in the beloved buddy cop series has introduced wildly different bad guys for the heroes to fight. In that regard, arguably no Lethal Weapon movie's bad guys have ever surpassed the South African drug smugglers from Lethal Weapon 2. Some heavy hitters backed that particular ensemble of evildoers, but sadly, we must now bid farewell to one of the best. Specifically, we have learned that Irish actor Derrick O'Connor has passed away.

According to Deadline, Derrick O'Connor passed away on Friday, June 29 in Santa Barbara, California, reportedly dying of pneumonia. He was 77 years old and had a filmography that stemmed all the way back to the late 1960s. Derrick O'Connor's most famous role was arguably that of Pieter Vorstedt, the henchman in Lethal Weapon 2 who could go toe-to-toe with Martin Riggs (and was particularly deadly with a throwing knife).

Not enough good things can be said about what Derrick O'Connor brought to Lethal Weapon 2, as Pieter Vorstedt remains one of the franchise's best characters. In fact, if you are looking for a reminder of how strong his performance was in that particular film, you can check out the scene in which he reveals that he murdered Riggs' wife, below!

Of course, while Derrick O'Connor arguably made his most famous on-screen appearance as Pieter Vorstedt in Lethal Weapon 2, he had plenty of other impressive screen credits worth pointing out. In addition to his turn as the South African assassin in the 1989 action thriller, O'Connor also played roles in films like Daredevil, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and End of Days. He was a reliable character actor with plenty of distinct personalities and talents to bring to the film world, and he was apparently known for cutting his own lines to let his non-verbal performance carry scenes. His absence will most certainly be felt by those with a particular love of 1980s popcorn movies.

It is with a heavy heart that we bid farewell to this icon of the Lethal Weapon franchise. CinemaBlend will bring you more information from the entertainment industry (the uplifting as well as the somber) as more details are made available to us. For now, you can head over to our 2018 movie premiere guide if you're interested in more information on all of the films set to debut this year.

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