UPDATE with more information.
Louis Zorich, whose stage career reached back more than half a century and included a 1969 Tony nomination for Hadrian VII, died Tuesday in New York. The veteran Chicago actor, best known to TV audiences as Paul Reiser’s father on NBC’s Mad About You, was 93.
Known for his gravelly voice and Man-of-La-Mancha-like bearing, Zorich was the husband of Oscar winner Olympia Dukakis. Among his many roles on and off-Broadway, he understudied Walter Matthau’s Oscar Madison in Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple and
later starred in 45 Seconds From Broadway, Simon’s play about the denizens of a café much like the now defunct Edison Hotel coffee shop in the theater district that was known affectionately as the Polish Tea Room.In 1984, he played Ben Loman in a revival of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman with Dustin Hoffman, Kate Reid and John Malkovich; Volker Schlödorff directed a telefilm of the production for CBS that also was released theatrically.
Zorich appeared in a 2001 Roundabout Theatre Company Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman’s musical Follies. He last was cast in a 2003 revival of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Zorich and Dukakis co-founded the Whole Theater company in their hometown of Montclair, NJ. He was on the faculty of HB Studio, one of the country’s premiere acting programs.
In addition to playing Burt Buchman on 70 episodes of Mad About You between 1992 and 1999, Zorich played Marion Ross’s husband on Gary David Goldberg’s CBS series Brooklyn Bridge, from 1991 to 1993. Zorich’s film credits included Coogan’s Bluff (1968), Popi (1969), Cold Turkey (1971), Fiddler on the Roof (1971), The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984) and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988).
Along with Dukakis, whom he married in 1962, survivors include their children Christina, Peter and Stefan and four grandchildren, Isabella, Sofia, Luka and Erlinda.
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