peter-scolari-celebrity-death

Veteran actor Peter Scolari, who starred in TV, film and stage in a career that spanned four decades has died. The actor, who won an Emmy playing the father of Lena Dunham’s character in Girls was 66. According to his manager, Ellen Lubin, Scolari battled cancer for two years.

Born in born in New Rochelle, New York, he discovered his passion for acting when he was in high school and performed the leading role of Finch in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. “I did a scene, got some laughs, walked offstage, and then bam! I had a white-light experience,” he told the Toronto Star. “This is it, I thought. This is what I want to do with my life. I’m going to be an actor.”

Scolari first gained prominence when he starred with Tom Hanks on the TV hit Bosom Buddies from 1980 to 1982. He had countless memorable roles in Newhart, Murphy Brown, Honey I Shrunk The Kids and The Good Fight. A gifted actor, he also performed regularly on stage in Hairspray, Bronx Bombers and Lucky Guy, which also starred Hanks.

“Peter Scolari, who died today, was one of the funniest—sneakily funny—actors we’ve worked with,” tweeted Robert King, who co-created the recent series Evil, where Scolari played Bishop Thomas Marx. “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.”

Scolari leaves behind his wife, actress Tracy Shayne, and two children.

Here are some of the best celebrity responses from his friends and co-stars.

Sad to see the news that Peter Scolari lost his battle with cancer. There wasn’t a sweeter man on the planet. We performed together in HAIRSPRAY for a time and he was always a total delight. Farewell, dear Peter.https://t.co/1TPjakwLT3

— Harvey Fierstein (@HarveyFierstein) October 22, 2021

RIP, Peter Scolari. A welcome, acerbic presence in everything he appeared in, from Bosom Buddies to Newhart to Girls. He and Tom Hanks were so good together that Bosom Buddies soon abandoned the dumb crossdressing premise; people just wanted to watch those guys be funny together. pic.twitter.com/6l6iiDWWDe

— Alan Sepinwall (@sepinwall) October 22, 2021

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. pic.twitter.com/25z6xgmD3f

— Robert King (@RKing618) October 22, 2021

Beyond everything else, Peter Scolari was a mensch, a hard worker, a thoughtful actor, always a pleasure on a set. This feels like a very depressing day. Writing about him makes it a bit easier, but not really. pic.twitter.com/aKsW9uG5no

— Robert King (@RKing618) October 22, 2021

I am heartbroken to hear about Peter Scolari this morning. He was honestly one of the funniest, most generous actors I ever got to work with. (And he taught me how to juggle!) He was a comic genius & I will forever be grateful that I was lucky enough to learn from him. ???? pic.twitter.com/u30CVt4eRL

— David Kaufman (@DavidKaufman23) October 22, 2021

My time on Newhart wasn’t long but in the few episodes I did, most of my stuff was with Peter Scolari. I’ll never forget how kind and supportive he was and so incredibly talented. I was honored to get to work with him. RIP, Peter.

— David Pressman (@DavidPressman) October 22, 2021

Bob Newhart pays tribute to the late “Newhart” star Peter Scolari: “We were friends and colleagues for over 40 years… 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.” https://t.co/7YVmYCBl0N pic.twitter.com/jUXOOrGPLs

— Variety (@Variety) October 22, 2021

#RIP dear Peter Scolari. I was lucky enough to work with you and learn from you onstage and screen. A sweet funny cool dude. I hope you get gigs wherever you are

— Jackie Hoffman (@JackieHoffman16) October 22, 2021

What a mensch. What a loss. Love to family. https://t.co/tqDLz4Lke2

— Jane Lynch (@janemarielynch) October 22, 2021

Amen. #PeterScolari was a prince among men. Insanely talented and more generous than you can imagine. Dear lord. My heart breaks for his family. https://t.co/vUhs1pbEur

— Matt Walton (@themattwalton) October 22, 2021