Charles Kimbrough, who played newsman Jim Dial on ‘Murphy Brown,’ dies at 86

Actor was the brother of Chicago stage veteran Linda Kimbrough.

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Charles Kimbrough reunites with “Murphy Brown” co-star Candice Bergen during a 2008 segment on “Today.”

Richard Drew/AP

LOS ANGELES — Charles Kimbrough, a Tony- and Emmy-nominated actor who played a straight-laced news anchor opposite Candice Bergen on “Murphy Brown,” died Jan. 11 in Culver City, California. He was 86.

Kimbrough played newsman Jim Dial across the 10 seasons of CBS hit sitcom “Murphy Brown” between 1988 and 1998, earning an Emmy nomination in 1990 for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series. He reprised the role for three episodes in the 2018 reboot.

The New York Times first reported his death and his son confirmed it Sunday to The Associated Press.

Kimbrough was the brother of veteran Chicago stage actor Linda Kimbrough.

Kimbrough’s wife, actor Beth Howland who played diner server Vera on the 1970s and ’80s CBS sitcom “Alice,” died in 2016. They married in 2002, more than a decade after his 1991 divorce from his first wife, Mary Jane (Wilson) Kimbrough, who died in 2007.

In addition to sister Linda, Kimbrough is survived by a son, John Kimbrough, and a stepdaughter, Holly Howland, the Times reports.

Born May 23, 1936, Kimbrough spent years in the New York theater scene. He was nominated for a Tony in 1971 for his Broadway performance in the Stephen Sondheim musical “Company.”

Kimbrough also lent his voice to a gargoyle named Victor in Disney’s animated film “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

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