LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Peter Scolari, a skilled character actor who played a yuppie producer in Newhart and a closeted father on Girls on television, and who starred on Broadway with old friend Tom Hanks in Lucky Guy, has died. He was 66 years old at the time.
Scolari died in New York on Friday morning following a two-year battle with cancer, according to his manager, Ellen Lubin Snitsky.
He rose to prominence as Tom Hanks’ co-star in the 1980-82 sitcom “Bosom Buddies,” in which their characters pretended to be women in order to live in low-cost, female-only apartments.
The two performers then collaborated on projects such as Tom Hanks’s directorial debut, That Thing You Do!, in 1996, and Nora Ephron’s play Lucky Guy, on newspaper writer Mike McAlary, in 2013.
Scolari’s Broadway credits include Wicked, Hairspray, and Bronx Bombers, in which he played baseball legend, Yogi Berra.
“For nearly 40 years, we were friends and colleagues,” Newhart said in a statement to The Associated Press. Scolari and Julia Duffy, who played on-screen couple Scolari and Julia Duffy in Newhart, were an “important element” of the show’s success, according to him.
“He was a wonderful person in life, and it was a pleasure to work with him. He will be deeply missed, and his death at the age of 66 was far too soon “According to Newhart.
Bishop Thomas Marx on the spooky series Evil was Scolari’s most recent role. Robert King, who co-created the series, described him as “simply great.”
He was a great guy “We’ve worked with some of the funniest — and slyly hilarious — performers we’ve ever met. He always took a mundane scenario and twisted it in unexpected ways, interspersing weird pauses that made it bounce “On Twitter, King stated.
In the 1982-90 sitcom, he got three Emmy nods for his roles as husband to Duffy’s Stephanie and colleague to Newhart’s inn owner and local TV personality.
“No greater partner,” Duffy said on Twitter, accompanied with a broken-heart emoji and a shot of her and Scolari performing a tango.
In 2016, he earned an Emmy Award for his performance in the film Girls as Ted Horvath, the father of Lena Dunham’s Hannah. During the course of Dunham’s dramedy, Ted comes out as homosexual and leaves his wife in search of happiness.
Dunham stated in an Instagram post that she “There could not have been a nicer television ‘daddy.’ Thank you, Scolari, for every discussion between sets, every embrace onscreen and off, and every ‘Oh, Jeez.’ You will be sorely missed.”
Hairspray actor Harvey Fierstein tweeted that “there wasn’t a kinder man on the globe.”
Scolari’s multiple careers featured guest appearances on shows including ER, White Collar, and Cast Members.
He is survived by his wife, actress Tracy Shayne, who portrayed Berra’s wife opposite him in Bronx Bombers. He was a New York native whose previous marriages ended in divorce. His children, Nicholas, Joseph, Keaton, and Cali are among the survivors.