Silver Joe Klein of Time says the actor was "my closest friend," and writes that he belied the image of Hollywood types talking about more than they really knew. In Silver's case, he really was well read and smart.

Klein remembers the arguments he had with Silver, who switched to a more conservative brand of politics after 9/11. Klein writes, "We did have a real fight in 2004, when he endorsed Bush and spoke at the Republican Convention. "The speech was bad enough, you had to sit in Cheney's box?" I asked. But, of course, he did. Ron was like that–no punches pulled, no corners cut. The list of directors and playwrights and fellow actors and political leaders he told to go screw themselves represented a who's who of the bien pensant entertainment world. "You don't want to ask me what happened with Nelson Mandela," he said when he came home from filming Ali in Africa. (He didn't like the fact that Mandela embraced Yasser Arafat, who killed innocents. Apparently Jamie Foxx has the videotape. "It isn't pretty," Ron admitted.)

"But I digress. Our fight: We yelled at each other for two hours until finally I told him to go f*** himself and then I started to laugh. "I just realized," I told him. "That there are no limits. You can't do or say anything that will make me stop being your friend." He said he felt the same way about me, even if I was mortally soft on the Arabs."

Despite speaking at the GOP convention in 2004, Klein says, Silver did vote for Obama.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more