He most recently appeared on ‘Ray Donovan’ and spent many a Christmas season with David Letterman.
Jay Thomas, the comic actor who starred on the sitcoms Murphy Brown and Cheers, has died. He was 69.
Don Buchwald, his agent and friend, reported his death due to cancer to The New York Daily News. No other details were immediately available.
Thomas played the obnoxious TV talk show host Jerry Gold (and Candice Bergen’s, on-again, off-again boyfriend) on Murphy Brown from 1989-98 after his stint as Rhea Perlman’s husband Eddie LeBec, a player with the Boston Bruins, on Cheers from 1987-89.
He most recently appeared on Showtime’s Ray Donovan. He often played sleazy types.
Thomas also starred on his own sitcom, starring as an egotistical sportswriter opposite Susan Dey and then Annie Potts on Love and War, a 1992-95 series created by Murphy Brown‘s Diane English.
For years, Thomas appeared with David Letterman on his late-night talk show during Christmas season and told a great, never-gets-old story centered on Clayton Moore, star of TV’s The Lone Ranger. He and tLetterman also took turns throwing a football, trying to knock a pizza off the top of a Christmas tree.
A native of Kermit, Texas, Thomas first gained fame as a deejay on radio stations in New York and Los Angeles.
Survivors include his wife Sally and sons Sam, Max and J.T.
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RIP Great talent.
What a great talent! Christmas hasn’t been the same without the Letterman Christmas Special. It will definitely not be same with this passing.