Ron Masak, ‘Murder, She Wrote’ Actor & ‘King of Commercials,’ Dead at 86

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo via Getty Images / CBS Photo Archive / Contributor)

A little over a week after Angela Lansbury passed away, fellow Murder, She Wrote star Ron Masek reportedly died on Thursday (October 20th). He was 86 years old at the time of his passing.

On the Ron Masak Fanpage on Facebook, the late actor’s daughter revealed the tragic news. She stated that Masak had been surrounded by his wife and all six of his children when he died. “Ron was known for his expansive career in the entertainment industry. He was best known as ‘The King of Commercials,’ as well as for his role as Sheriff Mort Metzger on Murder, She Wrote.”

Ron Masak’s daughter also stated that he spent many years playing integral roles in various charity events. Among the charities are Wounded Warriors, Child Help, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Susan G. Komen Foundation, and The Jerry Lewis Telethon. “Most importantly, we will remember him as a husband, a Father, a Papa, a Father in Law, and a great friend. He has touched so many lives and will be greatly missed.”

According to Deadline, Ron Masak’s made appearances on The Twilight Zone, Webster, The Rockford Files, The Flying Nun, and Bewitched. He also worked on many commercials and voice-overs. He was the frontman for Vlastic pickles for more than a decade as well. 

Ron Masak’s survived by his wife, Kay Knebles, six children, and 10 grandchildren.

Ron Masak Discussed How He Secured the Role on ‘Murder, She Wrote’ 

During a 60 Seconds Interview with RingSideReport, Ron Masak opened up about how he ultimately secured his role as Sheriff Mort Metzger. 

“I had worked for [producer] Peter Fischer before,” Ron Masak explained. “And he remembered my work. He called me at home and told me he needed my answer in 24 hours. He said he needed a new sheriff and if I wanted the job, it was mine. My answer was … Yes.”

When asked if the role became boring after a while, Ron Masak stated, “It never ever got boring as we had different guests and the best writers in the business.”

Ron Masak then spoke about remaining in contact with Angela Lansbury even after Murder, She Wrote came to an end. “Still in touch with that Dame. She is the Rolls Royce of our business. Always prepared and fine to work with. A Pros Pro.”

Ron Masak also spoke about his other acting roles, including being the voice of Meatballs on the cartoon series Meatballs and Spaghetti. “Voice auditions. I approached it as though he was a Rock’n’roll Fred Flintstone. The creators chose the cast.”

In regards to being on several TV game show panels, Ron Masak said there were only two things he needed to do. “Listen carefully and answer the questions to the best of my ability. I enjoyed helping contestants win money.”