'The Office' Actor Mark York Dead At 55 After 'Unexpected Illness' — Jenna Fischer, Rainn Wilson Pay Tribute

Actor Mark York, who was best known for his role as Billy Merchant on The Office, has passed away.

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York died at age 55 on May 19 in Miami Valley Hospital, which is close to his hometown of Arcanum, Ohio, after a brief and unexpected illness, according to an obituary.

He also appeared on CSI: New York and 8 Simple Rules. According to his IMDB profile, York also had uncredited roles in Steven Spielberg’s A.I.: Artificial Intelligence and Going All the Way.

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the office billy merchant actor mark york dead
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"Even though he has been paraplegic since, 1988, he had such an outgoing, uplifting, positive attitude and personality. He always tried to look at what he could accomplish and do, not what he couldn’t do. He had experienced many travel opportunities and many dreams for the future. In the past several years, he had been working as an inventor, and had obtained two patents for his inventions," the obituary read.

According to the obituary, York had worked in print modeling before he was encouraged to pursue acting in California.

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York was in "an almost fatal, life-changing auto accident" in 1988, but the new lease on life that came with it brought him back to school and then to acting.

"He loved TV and the film industry. Mark could quote so many lines from movies and tell you who particular actors were in most movies. He spent many years living in California where he had many exciting moments pursuing his acting opportunities," the obit continued.

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York made several appearances across the first two seasons of The Office as the property manager of Dunder Mifflin’s office building.

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Scroll down to see the reactions to York's passing.

celeb deaths

Jenna Fischer

The Office actress Jenna Fischer said York "was a lovely man and a pleasure to work with. Very funny every time."

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Rainn Wilson

The Office actor Rainn Wilson said York was "a terrific human, a positive force and a dynamic actor."

"An Amazing Actor"

One fan mourned the loss of "an amazing actor who brought light to his life as a handicapped man!"


Another fan said York was "wonderful as Billy Merchant in the Office."


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