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R.I.P. Fritz Weaver, TV veteran

(Photo: Getty Images, Ian Smile)
(Photo: Getty Images, Ian Smile)

As reported by the Associated Press, veteran TV and Broadway actor Fritz Weaver has died. A Tony winner and an Emmy nominee, Weaver appeared in tons of memorable TV shows and a handful of movies. No cause of death has been given. Weaver was 90.

Born in Pittsburgh in 1926, Weaver was a conscientious objector during World War II and didn’t get into acting until the 1950s. His earliest TV roles included Playhouse 90, Studio One In Hollywood, and a TV movie of Jane Eyre. In the ‘60s, he appeared in a pair of classic Twilight Zone episodes: “Third From The Sun” and “The Obsolete Man.” In the former, he played a scientist who steals a space ship so he can save his family from nuclear war, eventually settling on a planet called Earth. In the latter, he’s the Chancellor of a fascist state that sentences a librarian (Burgess Meredith) to death for “obsolescence,” only to find himself later deemed obsolete. He also appeared in the Twilight Zone revival in the ‘80s, playing a priest who discovers that an alien world was destroyed by an exploding sun—the light of which reached the Earth on the day Jesus was born, making it the biblical “Christmas Star.”

In 1970, Weaver won a Tony for his role as a strict boarding school teacher in Child’s Play and earned an Emmy nomination for the NBC miniseries Holocaust. He played a Jewish doctor sent to Auschwitz and appeared alongside Meryl Streep, James Woods, and Michael Moriarty—who ended up winning the Emmy.

Over the years, Weaver appeared on Matlock, Gunsmoke, Falcon Crest, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Magnum P.I., and Murder, She Wrote. His sister, four-time Emmy nominee Mary Weaver Dodson, was an art director on that show and died earlier this year. He was inducted into the Theatre Hall Of Fame in 2010, and in more recent years, he appeared in The Cobbler and The Congressman, and he provided voiceover narration for the History Channel.

Weaver is survived by his wife and two children.

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