Actor Peter Scolari, after battling with cancer for almost two years, passed away on Friday. The actor won an Emmy award for his role in HBO series ‘Girls’, where he played lead and creator of the show Lena Dunham’s father. The news of his death was announced by Wright Entertainment’s Ellen Lubin Sanitsky.
The actor first became famous after he starred in a 1980s show on ABC called ‘Bosom Buddies’. The show successfully lasted for 3 years before Peter Scolari again got cast for Bob Newhart’s ‘Newhart’, where he played producer Michael Harris. His earlier role on Bosom Buddies resulted in a long-standing friendship with co-star Tom Hanks, and the two worked again together on ‘That Thing You Do!’ and ‘Lucky Guy’.
Mark Hamill honored him in a Twitter tribute saying, “What a wonderful actor he was! So sad to hear of the loss of the versatile Peter Scolari. I never had the chance to work with him, but I’m grateful for a lifetime of his brilliant performances. #GoneTooSoon”
He was both a TV and stage actor, and his other works included ‘Gotham’, ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids’, ‘Dweebs’ among many others. He also appeared on Broadway 6 times. He got nominated for an Emmy for Newhart and Girls, the latter of which he won.
“I knew that Peter was sick, but his death still comes as a great shock. We were friends and colleagues for over 40 years. Julia and Peter, as a vacuous couple (Michael and Stephanie), were an essential part of the success of “Newhart.” 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.” said Bob Newhart according to TVInsider.
Producer Robert King wrote,”Peter Scolari, who died today, was one of the funniest—sneakily funny—actors we’ve worked with. He always took a nothing scene and found different ways to twist it, and throw in odd pauses that made it jump. I will try to collect my thoughts more. He was just wonderful.” He worked with Peter Scolari on the thriller series ‘Evil’.
He was married thrice and is survived by his wife Tracy Shayne, along with his children, Nicholas, Joseph, Keaton and Cali.