Peter Scolari, the Emmy-nominated actor who appeared in “Bosom Buddies” and “Seinfeld,” among other shows, has died at the age of 70, according to the website for the Stage & Screen Showbiz Group, which Scolari and his wife, Hilary, founded in 2001.
Scolari died Monday night of an apparent cardiac event at his home in East Hampton, New York, the website reported, citing a spokeswoman for the Lyceum Theatre, the theater that housed his off-Broadway production of the Greek tragedy “Agrippina” in 2017.
Scolari played the doctor on the short-lived NBC comedy “Bosom Buddies” in 1983, and has been called the show’s only romantic leading man. It ran for one season, and when NBC attempted to revive it years later, Scolari had by then become one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actors.
He later became an esteemed character actor in prestige films, in roles ranging from the Holocaust drama “Schindler’s List” to Oscar-winning “Erin Brockovich.” His most prominent screen performances in recent years have been in David Foster Wallace’s adaptation of the same title, “Rushmore,” Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox” and “Munich,” Paul Greengrass’s 2005 documentary about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Scolari’s best-known film roles include the stoner hit “Good Times,” the rom-com “From the Earth to the Moon” and the performance that led to the signature line of the show “Bugs Bunny and Her Bugs,” which it featured in the 1989 holiday classic “White Christmas.”
Born June 28, 1947, Scolari began his career as a stage actor, with a stint on Broadway in 1976 and two one-man shows, “Paris, Not Paris” and “Main Street, MacDowell,” both of which he was in line to win the prestigious Obie award for.
From 1978 to 1984, he was a member of David Letterman’s late-night talk show band and in 1986, Scolari won an Emmy for his supporting work on a “Frasier” episode in which he played a man accused of arson. He was also nominated for an Emmy in 2008.
Scolari is survived by his wife of 44 years, Hilary, a former model. In 2014, Scolari released his memoir, “Things My Dad Taught Me: Tales from a Life of Complacency.”