I'd seen him in plenty of projects, most of which are clearly far more mainstream fare than Science Fiction or Fantasy. He always turn up in some role that he made all of his own ... and his comic chops were especially fine-tuned. Most of the players he brought to life were in some way, shape, or form a bit "bigger than life," perhaps too big to be encased in such a small parameter. Specifically, I'm think of his work as 'Arthur' aboard the very funny The Larry Sanders Show for HBO: his production manager was always working to put out a fire well before the show's host (Sanders) could accidentally or intentionally fan the flames, and he always did it with such gusto and flare that audiences could find some peace in simply watching the man work.
And dare I forget his inspired lunacy in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story? As a washed out coach and trainer, he still managed to whip those unathletic athletes into some (ahem) shape, all of it working out for better or for worse.
To genre fans, his 'Zed' kept the machine churning aboard Men In Black I and II, and I suspect we'll always be thankful for his presence in protecting the Earth from the scum of the galaxy.
Godspeed, Mr. Torn ...