Bruce Kirby, 'Columbo' And 'Muppet Movie' Actor, Dead At 95
Bruce Kirby, an actor who was best known for his role in projects such as Stand By Me, The Muppet Movie and Columbo, has died at the age of 95.
His son, John Kirby, shared the news with fans via Facebook, where he revealed his dad “passed away peacefully” at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles on Sunday, January 24.
“My father loved acting and aside from his extraordinary professional career in television, film & theater, he never stopped working on it from his early years in New York on scholarship with Lee Strasberg for 9 years, LA’s Theatre East & The Actors Studio,” John wrote.
"It was very painful for him when he no longer could perform. I am so glad his wonderful work will live on…
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“He was a great father who loved Bruno and me and as a family he made it his business for us to tour in these professional Summer Stock packages, something we would all look forward to every summer…”
An official cause of death has yet to be revealed.
Bruce landed his big break in Hollywood in the 1950s, when he starred in several television shows including Goodyear Playhouse, Omnibus and The Phil Silvers Show.
By the ‘60s, his career was in full effect, landing prominent roles on TV favorites The Defenders, The Patty Duke Show and Car 54, Where Are You?.
The following decade, Bruce turned his attention to working on sitcoms, which eventually led him to be cast as Sergeant George Krammer in the mystery series Columbo before securing a recurring role as District Attorney Bruce Rogoff in L.A. Law soon after.
Though he mainly worked on television shows, Bruce also experienced some crossover success at the box office when he teamed up with Matt Dillon for 2004’s Crash. The action flick earned three Oscars at the 2006 Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Film Editing and Best Original Screenplay.
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In his Facebook tribute, John additionally expressed gratitude toward his dad for teaching him and his brother, Bruno, everything they knew about acting right from when there were still kids.
Bruno, who was most known for his work in flicks such as When Harry Met Sally and The Godfather: Part II, passed away in 2006 from complications with his leukemia battle, the New York Times reported at the time.
"He was a great Father who loved Bruno and Me and as a family he made it his business for us to tour in these professional Summer Stock packages something we would all look forward to every summer!" John continued.
"Thank You DAD for everything you taught me about Acting & how to have such a strong work ethic while sharing your love for the Arts & the Craft of it all.
“I will miss You & Love You always. I'm glad you're up there with Bruno and so many of our loved ones.”