Actor Ron Leibman, who played Rachel’s dad in ‘Friends’, dies at 82

NEW YORK: Award-winning actor Ron Leibman, whose career in movies, theatre and television spanned six decades, died after an illness at the age of 82.

Actor Ron Leibman, who played Rachel’s dad in ‘Friends’, dies at 82

Ron Leibman in a still from ‘Friends’. Youtube sceengrab

kavishakohli@gmail.com

New York, December 8

Award-winning actor Ron Leibman, whose career in movies, theatre and television spanned six decades, died after an illness at the age of 82.

Best known for playing Rachel’s overbearing father, Dr Leonard Green, in the popular sitcom “Friends”, Leibman died on December 6 in Manhattan, reported The New York Times.

A spokeswoman for his wife, “Arrested Development” star Jessica Walter, said the cause of death was pneumonia.

Primarily a stage actor, Leibman won an Emmy award in 1979 for the short-lived CBS series “Kaz”, which he created, and also has a Tony to credit for the play “Angels in America”.

He played Cohn in the first part of Tony Kushner’s monumental two-part play about homosexuality and the age of AIDS. Cohn, a conservative lawyer and closeted gay man who was once chief counsel to Senator Joseph R McCarthy and who died of AIDS in 1986, is a central figure in the work.

On the big screen, Leibman’s credits include films such as “Norma Rae”, “Slaughterhouse-Five” and “Where’s Poppa?”       

He also has Drama Desk Awards for “We Bombed in New Haven” (1969) and “Transfers” (1970).

Sally Field, who won an Oscar for “Norma Rae”, remembered Liebman as her “champion”.

“So many of the best memories of my career, have Ron Leibman in them. Thank you, Ron. For my being my champion. Rest, my friend,” Field wrote on Twitter.

Director Edgar Wright also mourned the demise of the Hollywood veteran.

“I’m a little obsessed with Ron Leibman’s performance in ‘The Super Cops’. It’s one of those live wire performances that totally transforms a movie.

“He’s also just great in ‘The Hot Rock’ and ‘Where’s Poppa?’ Very sad to hear he just passed away, a brilliant dramatic and comedic actor,” Wright wrote on the microblogging site.

Actor-author Illeana Douglas said it was a privilege to work with Leibman.

“Ron Leibman and Jessica Walters played my parents in the film ‘Dummy’. Every day we drove to the set together and they patiently answered every question I ever had at about every film they were ever in. What a privilege to work with him. #RIPRonLeibman,” Douglas tweeted. —PTI

 

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