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Jack Riley (1935 - 2016)

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Jack Riley (1935 - 2016)

Jack Riley, a veteran comic actor who appeared on “The Bob Newhart Show,” died Aug. 19, 2016, according to multiple news sources. He was 80.

Riley’s wife, Ginger Lawrence, told Deadline that the actor died of pneumonia after a long illness.

He appeared on dozens of TV shows over a career that spanned five decades, but he may have been known best to television audiences as the neurotic and self-absorbed patient Elliot Carlin on “The Bob Newhart Show.” He appeared in 49 episodes of the sitcom. The character proved so popular that he reprised the role on “St. Elsewhere” and “ALF.”

Riley also was familiar to younger audiences as the voice of Stu Pickles in “Rugrats” and its spinoff, “All Grown Up!”

He had recurring roles on several notable television comedies, including “Diff’rent Strokes,” “Night Court,” and “Son of the Beach.” On film, he was a regular in Mel Brooks films like “High Anxiety,” “History of the World: Part I,” and “Spaceballs.”


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Riley was born Dec. 30, 1935, in Cleveland, Ohio. He got his start in comedy doing local radio on “The Baxter & Riley Show” in the 1960s. He then moved to Los Angeles where fellow Ohioan Tim Conway helped get him work as a writer.

He got his first semiregular role on the sitcom “Occasional Wife” in 1966. He was a frequent sitcom guest star before his stint on “The Bob Newhart Show” and was even more in demand afterward. Between the 1960s and 1990s, he logged guest appearances on “Hogan’s Heroes,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Barney Miller,” “Silver Spoons,” “Friends,” and “Seinfeld.”

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