'Barney Miller' star Steve Landesberg dies

Dec 21, 2010

"Honesty is the best policy, but insanity is a better defense," quipped actor Steve Landesberg, best known for playing cerebral Detective Arthur Dietrich on the TV sitcom \"Barney Miller.\" Landesberg has died of cancer. He was 65.

"Steve was a true \'Gentleman,\'" Landesberg\'s agent Jeffrey Leavitt said shortly after the actor\'s death. \"Working with Steve was an honor both personally and professionally. ... He will be missed.\"

Landesberg was known for his deadpan delivery on \"Barney Miller,\" the sole intellectual member of a New York City police station in Greenwich Village, who toyed with those who crossed his path in the precinct. "Barney Miller" ran from 1975 to 1982.

In addition to his stint on the sitcom, Landesberg made guest appearances on a number of shows, including \"Saturday Night Live,\" \"The Golden Girls\" and \"Law & Order.\" He also appeared in the 2008 movie \"Forgetting Sarah Marshall.\"

Other Landesberg roles include bit parts on "Two Guys, A Girl and A Pizza Place" (playing the father to Ryan Reynolds' character), and "Everybody Hates Chris\" (as "the last white man in Bed-Stuy," Mr. Levine). He also did voiceover work, playing several minor characters on "Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law." Most recently he could be seen playing an accountant in "Wild Hogs" and had a starring role as Dr. Myron Finkelstein on the Starz comedy "Head Case," where he also wrote seven episodes.

Landesberg started out as a stand-up comedian, coming up alongside comics such as David Brenner and Jimmy Walker and performing with the improv group The New York Stickball Team.



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