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Richard Libertini (1933 – 2016)

by Kirk Fox

The character actor probably best known for playing the doubting news editor in the “Fletch” movies, has died at 82.

Richard Libertini, the character actor probably best known for playing the doubting news editor in the Fletch movies, has died at 82.

Libertini was born in East Cambridge, Massachusetts, to parents who had immigrated to America from southern Italy. He attended, and graduated from, Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts.


His first movie appearances were in The Night They Raided Minsky’s, Don’t Drink the Water and Catch-22. He moved on to notable character roles including the insane General Garcia in the movie The In-Laws and the sidekick to Burt Reynolds in the movie Sharky’s Machine. His most memorable role would be playing Chevy Chase’s doubting boss in Fletch.

On television, he was a series regular during the first season of Soap and starred on the sitcom The Fanelli Boys. One of his more recent appearances was on the television drama Supernatural.

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In 2011, Libertini made a final Broadway appearance in  Woody Allen’s “Honeymoon Hotel,” one of the three one-acts in the stage production Relatively Speaking.

He was a member of the popular Second City comedy improv group in Chicago.

He was married from 1963 to 1978 to Melinda Dillon, the two-time Oscar-nominated actress. Survivors also include son Richard, sister Alice and brother Albert.

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