Actor Peter Scolari, of ‘Bosom Buddies,’ ‘Newhart’ and ‘Girls’ fame, dies at 66

The Emmy-winning actor had been battling cancer for two years, according to his manager.

SHARE Actor Peter Scolari, of ‘Bosom Buddies,’ ‘Newhart’ and ‘Girls’ fame, dies at 66

Peter Scolari arrives at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Sept. 18, 2016. Scolari, a versatile character actor whose television roles included a yuppie producer on “Newhart” and a closeted dad on “Girls” and who was on Broadway in “Hairspray” and “Wicked,” died Friday morning in New York after fighting cancer for two years, according to Ellen Lubin Sanitsky, his longtime manager. He was 66.

AP Photos

Emmy-winning actor Peter Scolari, who co-starred with Tom Hanks in ABC’s comedy ”Bosom Buddies,” died Friday at age 66, according to his representative Ellen Lubin Sanitsky. He had battled cancer for two years.

Scolari was also known for his role in the CBS sitcom ”Newhart,” which starred Bob Newhart as a Vermont innkeeper and aired from 1982-90. 

Scolari is perhaps best known for his co-starring role opposite Hanks in “Bosom,” which proved Hanks’ breakout role but aired for only two seasons, from 1980-82.

Scolari played nice, shy Henry to Hanks’ boisterous, sarcastic Kip, two young professionals in New York who dressed in drag in order to live in an affordable women’s hotel. Their characters also posed as the brothers of their alter egos Buffy (Hanks) and Hildegard (Scolari). He had a lifelong friendship with Hanks, according to Deadline.

His most recent TV credits include a recurring role on Paramount+ series ”Evil,” as well as Hannah Horvath’s (Lena Dunham) father on HBO’s “Girls,” which ended in 2017.

On “Evil,” Scolari played Bishop Thomas Marx in multiple episodes in the spiritual show’s first and second season. His most recent appearance was in the Sept. 26 episode, “I is for IRS.”

He won an Emmy in 2016 for portraying Dunham’s father, who ha He was nominated three times for an Emmy for his role as Michael Harris, the officious husband of the inn’s maid (Julia Duffy) on “Newhart” from 1987 to 1989.

Tributes began flooding social media after the news broke.

“No better partner,” his “Newhart” co-star Julia Duffy posted on Twitter along with a picture of the pair.

“Evil” co-creator and showrunner Robert King wrote several tweets about the actor, calling him ”one of the funniest—sneakily funny—actors we’ve worked with,” he said. “He always took a nothing scene and found different ways to twist it, and throw in odd pauses that made it jump. I will try to collect my thoughts more. He was just wonderful.”

“#RIP dear Peter Scolari,” actress Jackie Hoffman wrote on Twitter. “I was lucky enough to work with you and learn from you onstage and screen. A sweet funny cool dude. I hope you get gigs wherever you are.”

Actor David Kaufman wrote: “Just stunned this morning RIP, Peter Scolari.”

Harvey Fierstein added: “Sad to see the news that Peter Scolari lost his battle with cancer. There wasn’t a sweeter man on the planet. We performed together in HAIRSPRAY for a time and he was always a total delight. Farewell, dear Peter.”

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