Peter Scolari Dies, Bosom Buddies and Newhart Star Was 66

    Veteran actor Peter Scolari has passed away. Scolari, who’s known for many shows from Bosom Buddies to Newhart, reportedly died on Friday morning after battling cancer for two years. He was 66 years old.

    Peter Thomas Scolari was born on Sept. 12, 1955. He picked up his first ongoing role in a TV series in 1980 with Goodtime Girls, and while the sitcom was short-lived, it got him noticed by the right people. Scolari was cast alongside Tom Hanks, who was an unknown actor at the time, in the sitcom Bosom Buddies, which aired for two seasons from 1980-1982. The show starred Hanks and Scolari as two young men who disguise themselves as women to get an affordable apartment in a women-only building.

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    After the show, Scolari remained good friends with Tom Hanks. Scolari also once revealed to Oprah Winfrey that Hanks had even toasted him at his wedding. Of the toast, Scolari said, “I cannot get my mind around what I’ve done in my life to deserve this kind of affection.”

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    Fans of classic comedy will also remember Peter Scolari for his role on Newhart. Starring opposite Bob Newhart, Scolari played Michael Harris, a yuppie TV producer who appeared on the series from 1984-90. During that time, he also appeared as the ‘real-life’ Mr. Bill, based on the claymation shorts from Saturday Night Live. In the 1990s, Scolari would also play Rick Moranis’s character Wayne Szalinski in the TV series adaptation of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. In the Batman prequel series Gotham, Scolari appeared in a memorable role as Gotham City police commissioner Gillian B. Loeb.

    Scolari also won an Emmy in 2016 for playing Hannah’s father Tad Horvath on Girls. After his death, Girls co-star Lena Dunham posted a message of tribute to Scolari. She wrote, “he shyest extrovert, the most dramatic comedian, the most humble icon. You had lived enough life to know that a TV show was just a TV show, but also to appreciate just what it meant to be allowed to play pretend for a living- and you never let us forget that this job was a privilege… Becky Ann and I loved every second of playing your family and I couldn’t have been raised up by a better TV ‘papa.’ Thank you, Scolari, for every chat between set ups, every hug onscreen and off and every ‘Oh, Jeez.’ We will miss you so much.”

    In a tweet, Robert King said of the late actor, “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.”

    And Star Wars legend Mark Hamill added, “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.”

    Peter Scolari’s survivors include his wife, Tracy Shayne, and children Nicholas, Joseph, Keaton, and Cali. Our thoughts are with them at this painful time. Rest in peace, Peter Scolari. This news comes to us from CNN.

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