Actor Peter Scolari, who had an extensive career as a TV actor, died on Friday morning after a two-year battle with cancer. His death was confirmed by manager Ellen Lubin-Sanitsky. He was 66.
Scolari began acting on screen in the late ‘70s. His first recurring TV role was in the short-lived 1980 ABC sitcom Goodtime Girls, where he played street performer Benny Loman alongside Annie Potts, Georgia Engel, and Lorna Patterson.
He then got his big break the same year starring in another ABC sitcom, Bosom Buddies, alongside Tom Hanks. He reunited with his Bosom Buddies costar in That Thing You Do!, that was also directed by Hanks.
After Bosom Buddies was canceled in 1982, he was cast in small roles in classic TV shows like Family Ties, The Love Boat, Happy Days, and The Twilight Zone, ultimately landing his second starring role in CBS series Newhart, playing Michael Harris, the producer of Bob Newhart’s character Dick Loudon’s TV show. That role earned him three Emmy nominations.
In 1997, he got a starring role in Honey, I Shrunk The Kids: The TV Show, where he played kooky inventor Wayne Szalinski, originally played by Rick Moranis in the movies.
He had various TV roles throughout the years after that, appearing in The West Wing, Sabrina The Teenage Witch, Ally McBeal, The King Of Queens, and countless other sitcoms and dramas. He also did voice acting for beloved children’s animated shows, like Hey Arnold!, What’s New, Scooby Doo?, and Pinky And The Brain.
His next major recurring role was in Girls, playing Lena Dunham’s character Hannah Horvath’s father, Tad. For that role, he won the Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series in 2016.