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Jay Thomas, 'Murphy Brown,' 'Cheers' actor has died

Jay Thomas, 'Murphy Brown,' 'Cheers' actor has died
Posted at 3:43 PM, Aug 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-24 12:16:43-04

(RNN) - Jay Thomas, who is best remembered for his roles as talk show host Jerry Gold on"Murphy Brown" and hockey player Eddie Lebec on "Cheers" has died at age 69.

His agent Don Buchwald told the New York Daily News that he had cancer.

Thomas played Murphy Brown's obnoxious boyfriend from 1989-98 after playing Rhea Pearlman's husband, a player with the Boston Bruins, on "Cheers." His character was written out of the show when he appeared at a ice show and was killed by a Zamboni.

He was a regular on the David Letterman show, where he often appeared during the Christmas season. He told arguably the funniest talk-show story in world history based on an appearance with Clayton Moore, the star of TV's "The Lone Ranger."

He also had his own sitcom in the 1990s, playing an egocentric sportswriter opposite Susan Dey and later Annie Potts on "Love and War," a series created by "Murphy Brown's" Diane English, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

He also appeared in films, including the "Santa Claus" movies in 2002 and 2006 where he played the Easter Bunny. He was in "Mr. Holland's Opus," "Dragonfly," and "Labor Pains."

Most recently he appeared on Showtime drama "Ray Donovan" as Marty Grossman, a guy who runs a sleazy website.

He was born in Kermit, TX, and grew up in New Orleans. He began his career on radio stations in Los Angeles and New York - the era that spawned the Lone Ranger story. He broke into TV on "Mork and Mindy."

He is survived by his wife, Sally, and three sons, Sam, Max and J.T.

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