“Bosom Buddies” and “Newhart” star Peter Scolari died of cancer this morning. He battled the disease for two years and passed at age 66.
Deadline reported his death, which was announced by Ellen Lubin Sanitsky at Wright Entertainment. He’s survived by his wife, Tracy Shayne, and his children Nicholas, Joseph, Keaton, and Cali.
Peter Scolari was best known for starring in “Newhart,” a 1980s sitcom. In the show, he starred alongside Bob Newhart himself as well as Mary Frann, Tom Poston, and Julia Duffy. Scolari joined the show in 1984 and stayed with it through its conclusion in 1990. He played producer Michael Harris on the show, appearing in 142 episodes.
The actor also made himself known on “Bosom Buddies,” another 1980s classic. He starred alongside Tom Hanks, who would become a lifelong friend of Peter Scolari. The two played a pair of single men masquerading as women to be able to live in an all-female apartment complex.
More recently, Peter Scolari received his first Emmy win for playing Tad Horvath in the HBO show “Girls.” The show ran from 2012-2017, with Scolari starring as the father of lead Lena Dunham’s character. The actor also made appearances in “Evil,” “The Good Fight,” “Murphy Brown,” “The West Wing,” “ER,” “Gotham,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Ally McBeal,” and “From The Earth To The Moon.”
Peter Scolari made a name for himself on the Broadway stage too. He sang, danced, and acted in six total Broadway productions. You might’ve seen him in “Hairspray,” “Wicked,” “Sly Fox,” and “Magic/Bird.” Solari also appeared with his wife on “Bronx Bombers” and with Hanks on “Lucky Guy.”
Fans Mourn the Loss of Peter Scolari
Once the news broke, several fans took to Twitter to mourn the death of Peter Scolari. He touched many people in over 100 productions for film, television, and the stage.
TV critic Alan Sepinwall shared his grief in a heartbreaking post. “RIP, Peter Scolari. A welcome, acerbic presence in everything he appeared in, from Bosom Buddies to Newhart to Girls. He and Tom Hanks were so good together that Bosom Buddies soon abandoned the dumb crossdressing premise; people just wanted to watch those guys be funny together,” Sepinwall wrote.
Reporter Whitney McIntosh said, “Every time Peter Scolari showed up in something he was the kind of actor to make you say ‘oh yay Peter Scolari!’ Every single time. What a loss, especially after the work he was doing in recent years.”
“Sad to see the news that Peter Scolari lost his battle with cancer. There wasn’t a sweeter man on the planet. We performed together in HAIRSPRAY for a time and he was always a total delight. Farewell, dear Peter,” said actor Harvey Fierstein.
More tributes will doubtless pour in for the highly acclaimed actor.