Actors who died in the middle of a TV seriesby quartertwain | created - 03 Aug 2012 | updated - 31 Jan 2013 | Public
Actor | Cheers
Nicholas Colasanto, the actor and television director who achieved his greatest success as "Coach" on the TV series Cheers (1982) at the end of his career, was born January 19, 1924 in Providence, Rhode Island, one of seven children. He attended Providence's Central High School but did not graduate...
Actress | The Sopranos
Nancy Marchand's mother, a pianist, sent her shy daughter to acting classes in hopes of breaking her out of her shell. As a student at Carnegie Tech (Carnegie Mellon University), she studied the works of William Shakespeare and the other great playwrights and, upon graduation, set off to New York ...
3. John Ritter
Actor | Sling Blade
Jonathan Southworth Ritter was born in Burbank, California, on September 17, 1948. He was the son of legendary country singer/actor Tex Ritter and his wife, actress Dorothy Fay. The couple married in 1941 and had their first child, Tom Ritter, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. John was ...
8 Simple Rules
4. Phil Hartman
Actor | NewsRadio
Phil Hartman was born Philip Edward Hartmann on September 24, 1948, in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. His surname was originally "Hartmann", but he later dropped the second "n". He was one of eight children of Doris Marguerite (Wardell) and Rupert Loebig Hartmann, a salesman. He was of German, Irish, ...
5. Jim Davis
Actor | Big Jake
Tall, rangy Jim Davis spent much of his early career in westerns mainly at Republic Pictures. The Missouri-born and -raised Davis' relaxed, easygoing manner and Southern drawl easily fit most moviegoers' image of the cowboy and Republic put him in a ton of them over the years (the fact that, unlike...
6. Alice Pearce
Actress | Bewitched
Making a career out of a post-nasal drip, this scene-stealing character comedienne was one of the best Broadway and Hollywood had to offer. It's too bad, then, that she wasn't utilized in films more often for this slight, chinless, parrot-faced, squawky-voiced bundle of (kill)joy could draw laughs ...
Actor | Babylon 5
Richard Biggs had a somewhat unsettled childhood as he travelled between Air Force bases where his father was stationed. Because of his itinerant lifestyle he made few friends and changed schools often. When he was seventeen, and living at a missile base in North Dakota, he decided to change his ...
Actor | Voyagers!
In the early 1980s, this ruggedly handsome young man of Norwegian parentage was seen as the "next big thing", and then suddenly he was dead from an accident via a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Hexum was born and raised in Tenafly, New Jersey, where he was a musically gifted student at school playing...
Accidental, on-stage death
9. Diana Hyland
Actress | The Boy in the Plastic Bubble
Diana Hyland, a striking, knowing beauty with a confident air about her, was born Diane Gentner on January 25, 1936, in Ohio and appeared on stage in summer stock, as a teen, before graduating from Cleveland Heights High School.
Moving to New York in 1955 to test her acting mettle, the slim-faced, ...
Eight is Enough
10. Michael Conrad
Actor | Hill Street Blues
Michael Conrad was a powerfully built and toweringly tall New York-born American character actor, best known for his role as the pompous but beloved desk sergeant Phil Esterhaus on Hill Street Blues (1981), for which he won two Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Emmy Awards (1981, 1982)...
Hill Street Blues. The writers really show off their flair for irony when they write this guy off the show.
11. Larry Hagman
Actor | Dallas
The son of a legendary actress (Mary Martin) and a district attorney, Larry Martin Hagman was born on September 21, 1931 in Fort Worth, Texas. After his parents' divorce, he moved to Los Angeles, California to live with his grandmother. When he was 12, his grandmother died and he moved back to his ...
The Ewing family and t.v. were not made for happy endings.
12. Redd Foxx
Actor | Sanford and Son
Redd Foxx began doing stand-up comedy on the infamous "Chitlin' Circuit" in the 1940s and 1950s. Foxx was one of the premier "blue humor" comedians. Blue humor was very dirty, too dirty for white audiences. For years his party albums were not available in white record stores. In the 1960s his ...
Died on set filming his new sitcom The Royal Family.
13. John Spencer
Actor | The West Wing
John Spencer was born John Speshock, Jr. in New York City, the only son of Mildred (Benzeroski), a homemaker and occasional waitress, and John Speshock, a truck driver. He grew up near Paterson, New Jersey, and left at age 16 to attend the Professional Children's School. In 1963, he landed a ...
The West Wing
14. Will Lee
Actor | Sesame Street
Will Lee was born on August 6, 1908 in New York City, New York, USA as William Lee. He was an actor, known for Sesame Street (1969), Melody Lane (1941) and They Live by Night (1948). He died on December 7, 1982 in New York City.
15. Jack Soo
Actor | Flower Drum Song
A genial, laid back, slumber-eyed character player especially adept at the relaxed wisecrack or dry comment, Japanese-American actor Jack Soo was born in Oakland, California, in 1917, his real name being Goro Suzuki. In the post-WWII years, he entertained as a stand-up performer in nightclubs and ...
16. Harry Goz
Actor | Sealab 2021
Harry Goz was born on February 16, 1932 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA as Harry G. Goz. He was an actor, known for Sealab 2021 (2000), Marathon Man (1976) and Kennedy (1983). He was married to Margaret Avsharian. He died on September 6, 2003 in Manhasset, Long Island, New York, USA.
17. Mary Kay Bergman
Actress | South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
Mary Kay Bergman did not have a face known to many - her voice was recognized more than anything else in the world. Although she was a big voiceover star in the 1990s, her true claim to fame was Trey Parker and Matt Stone's critically acclaimed adult animated television series, South Park (1997), ...
Played many of the female voices on South Park
18. Jerry Orbach
Actor | Law & Order
Jerry Orbach was born in the Bronx, New York, the only child of Leon Orbach, a former vaudevillian actor, was a German Jewish immigrant, who was born in Hamburg, Germany, and Emily (nee Olexy), a radio singer, was born in Pennsylvania to immigrant Polish-Lithuanian Roman Catholic parents, Alexander...
Law and Order: Trial by Jury
19. Freddie Prinze
Actor | Chico and the Man
Freddie Prinze was born Frederick Karl Pruetzel in New York City, New York, to a Puerto Rican mother, Aurea Elena Ruiz, and a German immigrant father, Edward Karl Pruetzel. Freddie grew up in the Washington Heights section of New York City. As a chubby child, he was often bullied, but was quite ...
Chico and the Man
20. Will Geer
Actor | The Waltons
Will Geer was born William Aughe Ghere in Frankfort, Indiana, to Katherine (Aughe), a teacher, and Roy Aaron Ghere, a postal worker. Will admired his grandfather, a man who said hello to trees by their Latin names and who had used what he brought back to Indiana from the California gold rush to ...
21. Selma Diamond
Actress | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World
Most familiar to TV audiences as the diminutive but feisty court bailiff on Night Court (1984), Selma Diamond's entrance into acting wasn't through the usual venue of vaudeville, stage work or modeling - she was a writer for TV shows, once having been nominated for an Emmy for Caesar's Hour (1954)....
22. Florence Halop
Actress | Night Court
Florence Halop was born on January 23, 1923 in Queens, New York, USA as Florence Cohen. She was an actress, known for Night Court (1984), St. Elsewhere (1982) and George Burns Comedy Week (1985). She was married to George Gruskin. She died on July 15, 1986 in Los Angeles, California, USA.
Night Court, same role as above. Eventually replaced by Marsha Warfield
23. Pete Duel
Actor | Alias Smith and Jones
Born on 24 February 1940 in Rochester, New York, Pete Duel moved to West Hollywood in 1963 following a tour with the National Road Company's "Take Her, She's Mine". After landing small guest spots on various TV series, Pete was cast in a recurring role alongside Sally Field on Gidget (1965) in 1965...
"Alias Smith and Jones"