HomeAmerican EntertainmentPeopleDavid Birney, ‘Bridget Loves Bernie’ and ‘St. Elsewhere’ Actor, Dead at 83

David Birney, ‘Bridget Loves Bernie’ and ‘St. Elsewhere’ Actor, Dead at 83

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

David Birney, who is known for his roles in TV sitcoms “Bridget Loves Bernie” and “St. Elsewhere” has reportedly died at the age of 83. 

According to The New York Times, “Bridget Loves Bernie” actor David Birney passed away at his home in Santa Monica, California from Alzheimer’s on Friday (April 29th). The actor’s life partner, Michele Roberge confirmed the news. Along with the short-lived sitcom “Bridget Loves Bernie” and “St. Elsewhere,” David Birney made appearances in other TV shows, including “Live Shot,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “Glitter,” and “The Love Boat.”

The media outlet further reveals that David Birney was born in April 1939 in Washington D.C. and he grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. His father, Edwin, was an FBI agent. Originally a homemaker, his mother Jeanne went on to become a real estate agent. Birney also earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Dartmouth College in 1961. He then decided to turn down a scholarship from Stanford Law School to pursue theater arts studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. He went on to receive a master’s degree. Birney was previously married to his “Bridget Loves Bernie” co-star Meredith Ann Baxter and they had three children together.

Birney also served in the U.S. Army, where he was part of the program, The Showmobile. Those who were in the program would entertain military bases in the U.S.  According to IMDb, David Birney’s last role was in 2007 for “Without a Trace.”  

Along with Roberge, David Birney is survived by his children with Baxter. His daughters Kate and Mollie Birney; and his son, Peter Baxter. He also had his stepdaughter Eva Bush and stepson Ted Bush, who was Baxter’s children from a previous marriage. Birney also had two grandchildren and his brothers Glenn and Gregory. 

David Birney Shared Details About ‘Bridget Loves Bernie’

Prior to the premiere of his short-lived series “Bridget Loves Bernie,” David Birney shared more details about the sitcom and its premise. The New York Times reports that the show was about an interfaith marriage. Birney was cast as a Jewish taxicab driver and struggling writer while Meredith Baxter played Bridget Fitzgerald, who was a schoolteacher from a wealthy Roman Catholic family. 

When asked about the show’s premise and what kind of message it has, David Birney revealed, “One segment of the protesters is truly concerned about the dilution of their faith. But intermarriage is on the rise, nevertheless. The threat doesn’t come from a harmless show such as ours. But from within.”

Unfortunately, despite high ratings, “Bridget Loves Bernie” only lasted one season on the air before CBS decided to cancel. The series only has 25 episodes. Those who starred in the show alongside Birney and Baxter were Audra Lindley, David Doyle, Harold J. Stone, Ned Glass, and William Elliott.