Renowned character actor Peter Scolari, who rose to fame through his roles in such television comedies as Newhart and Bosom Buddies, has died at the age of 66, according to the Associated Press.
The actor’s death in New York City on Friday morning was confirmed by his manager, Ellen Lubin Sanitsky and was said to have been the result of a two-year battle with cancer.
Commenting on the passing of Scolari, Sanitsky declared, “He was a wonderful, wonderful, extraordinary actor. It’s heartbreaking,” as Fox News reported.
The outlet further detailed Scolari’s 43-year career in the world of stage and screen, taking particular note of his Emmy-nominated portrayal of yuppie television producer Michael Harris in 1980s sitcom Newhart as well as his memorable role alongside Tom Hanks in the short-running series Bosom Buddies.
Scloari also achieved noteworthy success on Broadway, having appeared in productions of Wicked, Hairspray, Bronx Bombers, Sly Fox, Magic/Bird, and Lucky Guy. The actor’s penultimate stage appearance in the Big Apple came in 2018’s off-Broadway staging of The True, according to Fox News.
In addition to the aforementioned television series roles for which he was most recognized, Scolari also made appearances on shows including ER, The West Wing, Murphy Brown, Ally McBeal, and Law & Order SVU, among others.
In remembering Scolari, comedy legend Bob Newhart said in a statement given to the AP, “We were friends and colleagues for over 40 years,” adding that the role the late actor played in Newhart was an “essential part” of its critical and popular success.
The 92-year-old Newhart continued, “In life, he was a fantastic person, and it was a joy to work together. He will be sorely missed and his passing at 66 is much too early.”
Scolari is survived by his wife, actress Tracy Shayne, as well as four children who are now joined by fans, comedy buffs, and theatergoers the world over in mourning his loss.