Veteran actor David Schramm has died, and with his death, the world has been left a little less funny. With a career spanning 40 years with a wide variety of roles on the stage and on the screen, Schramm is particularly known for his starring role as Roy Biggins on the '90s comedy series Wings. Though an official cause of death has not yet been revealed, The Acting Company's Margot Harley announced on Sunday that the actor has passed away. "We mourn his loss and will miss him," Harley said in a statement. Schramm was 73 years old.
Schramm was born in 1946 in Louisville, Kentucky. Taking to acting quickly, Schramm began pursuing the craft in his teens and, finding his calling, never looked back. "I had been acting non-stop since I was a teenager," Schramm said in a 2012 interview, noting fellow actor John Houseman had taken him "under his wing" and helped to get him started in the entertainment industry. after graduating from juilliard school in new york city, Schramm began working in theater, performing in live productions of shows like King Lear, Bedroom Farce, and Born Yesterday.
In one of his earliest television roles, Schramm played former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara on the Kennedy mini-series. He'd follow this up with notable roles in Miami Vice, Max Monroe, Working Girl, and the TV movie The Dreamer of Oz. He began portraying his most well-known role in 1990 when he starred on Wings as rival airline owner Roy Biggins, ultimately appearing in all 172 episodes of the series until it came to the end of its run in 1997.
"I knew when we started it was going to be a success," Schramm later said of his time on Wings in 2015 interview. "When we sat around the table reading the first script, and I saw this buffoon they created for me, this pompous guy who said garish things to women, and all the other rich characters, I turned to [Rebecca Schull], and said, 'I think we've landed in a tub of butter.' And we did."
Following Wings, Schramm voiced a role on Disney's animated Hercules television series before returning to the stage, which is where his acting career had begun. Acting on Broadway and in theaters across the United States, some of Schramm's later theater roles include John Heminge in The Beard of Avon, Pozzo in Waiting for Godot, Richard Harkin in The Seafarer, and Falstaff in William Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor at The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C. He begun to pull back from acting in 2015 when he started suffering from vocal problems, withdrawing from a tour of Butler because of his doctor's orders.
Those of us who lived through the '90s undoubtedly remember Schramm fondly from his time on Wings, and those who've seen him perform live on stage would certainly do so as well. Our thoughts go out to the friends and family of the actor at this time. He'll be forever missed, and may he rest in peace. This news comes to us from Deadline.