Curiously, Rip Torn did not get his name from the time he attacked Norman Mailer with a hammer and nearly got his ear torn off in the ensuing fight (it's a family nickname). And, even if the craziness was staged (you can see a video of it right here), this is definitely not any reason to look to Torn as an imitatable style icon.
Nor is his drunk driving, irate behavior (did you know that he almost got cast in Easy Rider in the role Jack Nicholson played? Dennis Hopper pulled a gun on him for reasons unknown and he didn't get the part) or possibly anything in his personal life. But who can deny the awesomeness of his spectacular on-screen persona Artie on The Larry Sanders Show?