We've got some sad news coming in today, as Emmy and Tony Award winning actor Ron Leibman has reportedly passed away. The news was confirmed by representatives from the family, who say Leibman died Friday in New York City due to complications from pneumonia. He was 82 years old.
Born in 1937, Leibman's interest in performing led to him joining the improv group Compass Players in the late 1950's. From there, he was admitted into the Actors Studio, and began to work his way up with his Hollywood acting career. He started to get work on television and would make his film debut in 1970 with a role in Where's Poppa? before moving on to other notable roles in '70s movies like Slaughterhouse-Five, The Super Cops, and Norma Rae. He continued to appear in various film projects through the '80s, showing up in such titles as Up the Academy, Zorro: The Gay Blade, and Rhinestone.
What was perhaps Leibman's breakout role was as Martin "Kaz" Kazinsky on the classic drama series Kaz, which won him a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Leibman would later appear on other major shows in the coming years, whicn includes roles on Murder, She Wrote, Pacific Station, and The Sopranos. More recently, he provided the voice of Ron Cadillac on the animated series Archer, which has turned out to be his final role.
Of course, Leibman's most famous role might be from the classic comedy series Friends. On the '90s sitcom, Leibman played Dr. Leonard Green - the short-tempered father of Jennifer Aniston's character, Rachel Green. Known for his contempt for Rachel's lover Ross (David Schwimmer), one of Dr. Green's most memorable moments came from when he confronted Ross after learning he had gotten Rachel pregnant before the two had married. Another memorable scene for Dr. Green had the character surviving a heart attack in the episode "The One Where Joey Speaks French." He was a character some fans loved to hate and he was always entertaining when he showed up.
Leibman also performed in a wide variety of stage shows, appearing in dozens of live performances for nearly fifty years. He won his Tony Award in 1993 for playing Jen. Joseph McCarthy's chief counsel Roy Cohn in Tony Kushner's Angels in America: Millennium Approaches. The play, which also won a Pulitzer Prize, focuses on the final days of the real-life attorney who passed away due to AIDS in 1986. Some of Leibman's other most well-known stage shows include The Deputy, We Bombed in New Haven, I Ought to Be in Pictures, and Rumors.
Leibman is survived by his wife, actress Jessica Walter (Arrested Development). The two have been married since 1983. Previously, the actor was married to actress Linda Lavin (Alice) from 1969 to 1981. Leibman's survivors also his stepdaughter Brooke Bowman, who works as a television programming executive. Our thoughts at this time are with Leibman's family and close friends. His contributions to the stage, film, and television will keep his legacy alive forever, and may he rest in peace. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.