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Veteran actor Jack Riley, a regular on ‘The Bob Newhart Show,’ dies at 80

Actor Jack Riley poses at the TV Land 35th anniversary celebration of "The Bob Newhart Show" in Beverly Hills in 2007.
(Dan Steinberg / Associated Press)

Jack Riley, who played a counseling client on “The Bob Newhart Show” in the 1970s and also voiced a character on Nickelodeon’s animated “Rugrats,” died Friday. The 80-year-old actor died in Los Angeles, according to his representative, Paul Doherty.

Besides portraying grumpy, self-absorbed Elliot Carlin on “The Bob Newhart Show” and providing the voice for absent-minded dad Stu Pickles on “Rugrats” and its spinoff, “All Grown Up!,” Riley appeared in the Mel Brooks films “History of the World: Part I,” ’'High Anxiety” and “Spaceballs” among his more than 150 credits over a career spanning five decades.

In a statement, Newhart said Riley created one of television’s “most endearing” situation comedy characters with his Carlin portrayal.

Riley was a “dear friend,” one whose loss leaves an emptiness in the lives of his friends and family, including his wife, Ginger Lawrence, Newhart said.

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The Cleveland native also voiced commercials and made guest appearances on numerous TV series, including “Seinfeld,” ’'Night Court” and “Diff’rent Strokes.”

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UPDATES:

5 p.m.: This article was updated with reaction from Bob Newhart.

This article was originally published at 1:05 p.m.


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