Emmy Award-winning comic actor Jay Thomas has died of cancer, according to his agent and friend Don Buchwald. He was 69.
“Thomas was perhaps best known for playing Jerry Gold on ‘Murphy Brown’ from 1989-1998. He also played Rhea Perlman’s TV husband Eddie LeBec on ‘Cheers’ from 1987-1989 before his character was run over by a zamboni,” said the New York Daily News, which first reported the passing.
Buchwald, who represented Thomas for 35 years, told the Daily News: “Jay was one of a kind, never at a loss for words and filled with so much fun and wonderfully whacky thoughts and behavior.”
Born Jon Thomas Terrell, he also was radio show host, and was renowned in Los Angeles as the star of the Power 106 “Morning Zoo” program.
“His notable television work includes his co-starring role as Remo DaVinci on ‘Mork & Mindy’ (1979–81), the recurring role of Eddie LeBec on ‘Cheers’ (1987–89), the lead character Jack Stein on ‘Love & War’ (1992–95), and a repeat guest role as Jerry Gold on ‘Murphy Brown.’ He won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in 1990 and 1991 for portraying Gold,” said Wikipedia.
“He was also an annual guest on ‘The Late Show with David Letterman’ during the Christmas season, where he told a story about how he met Clayton Moore, who portrayed the self-titled character on The Lone Ranger. Since 2005, he has hosted The Jay Thomas Show on Sirius Satellite Radio.”
On “Late Night with David Letterman,” he and the host would try to knock a meatball off the top of a Christmas tree with footballs.
Thomas’ wife Sally and his sons Sam, Max and J.T. were by his side when he passed.