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Rick Ducommun dies at 62; actor appeared in 'The 'Burbs,' 'Groundhog Day'

Actor Rick Ducommun, who appeared in 'The 'Burbs' and 'Groundhog Day,' dies at 62

Actor and comedian Rick Ducommun, who appeared in “Groundhog Day” and “Die Hard” but was best known for his role in the 1989 film "The 'Burbs," has died at the age of 62.

Ducommun died at a hospital in Vancouver, Canada, after suffering from complications due to diabetes, his brother said Thursday.

After "The 'Burbs," which became a cult classic, Ducommun was featured in "Gremlins 2: The New Batch," the Bill Murray hit "Groundhog Day" and "Ghost in the Machine."

Ducommun rose to prominence in the 1980s as a comedian, writer and actor, initially starring in the children's TV series "Zig Zag," followed by roles in the TV shows "Slickers," ''Amazing Stories," ''Rock 'N' America" and "The Last Precinct," a short-lived NBC show. Ducommun also played small parts in films, beginning with "No Small Affair."

After dropping more than 200 pounds, he landed the role of Art Weingartner, the nosy neighbor to Tom Hanks in "The 'Burbs."

Despite positive reaction to his work, the film was not a success, and Ducommun found himself continuing to perform stand-up comedy while occasionally doing film work, including an appearance in "Blank Check." He also had roles in "Little Monsters," ''Spaceballs," ''Die Hard," ''The Hunt for Red October," ''The Experts," ''The Last Boy Scout," ''Encino Man," ''Last Action Hero" and "Scary Movie."

HBO produced a stand-up comedy special with Ducommun in 1989 called "Rick Ducommun: Piece of Mind," which was well-received, as was the follow-up, "Hit and Run" in 1992. Ducommun was a regular performer on the Comedy Channel, later renamed Comedy Central.

"He was funny, talented and creative," said his brother, Peter Ducommun. "I think what people admired most was his stand-up. He was a comedian's comedian. Anyone who had the opportunity to see him live, loved his material."

Born in Prince Albert, Canada, Ducommun was an avid skateboarder in the 1960s. Skateboarding was such a big part of their lives that they created Skull Skates, a skateboarding accessories company, in 1978. Ducommun was heavily involved in the company until his stand-up career started to take off and he moved to Los Angeles, his brother said.

Peter Ducommun told the Associated Press that his brother stepped away from show business after starting a family. At the end of his life, he was living in Vancouver.

He is survived by four children, his ex-wife, two brothers, a sister and his father.

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