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A Beloved 'Bosom Buddy' Has Died

Peter Scolari, co-star in '80s sitcom with Tom Hanks, had been living with cancer for 2 years
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2021 1:23 PM CDT

(Newser) – Actor Peter Scolari, who starred in the '80s sitcom Bosom Buddies opposite Tom Hanks, has died at the age of 66, reports USA Today. His representative, Ellen Lubin Sanitsky, says he died Friday after living two years with cancer. Scolari was also well known for his star turn as Michael Harris on Newhart, which ran on CBS in the mid- to late '80s and earned Scolari three Emmy nominations. Deadline lists Scolari's ample TV and stage credits over his 40-year-plus career, including in Murphy Brown, The West Wing, Ally McBeal, and ER, as well as on Broadway in Wicked and Hairspray.

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Most recently, he played the father of Lena Dunham's character on Girls, a recurring role for which he won an Emmy in 2016. In his most famous role on ABC's Bosom Buddies, which ran for two seasons in the early '80s, Scolari played both struggling advertising writer Henry Desmond by day and Hildegard, female occupant of the Susan B. Anthony Hotel, by night. Hanks likewise played an advertising writer, Kip Wilson, as well as Hildegard's sidekick, "Buffy." The buddy comedy was based on the premise that Henry and Kip had to pretend to be women to be allowed to live in the inexpensive all-women's hotel.

The Hollywood Reporter notes that Scolari stayed close with Bob Newhart, star of Newhart, after that show ended, as well as with Hanks, who offered up an "amazing" toast to Scolari at the latter's 2013 wedding to third wife Tracy Shayne. "It may sound cliche, but there is no surprise that Tom's toast was full of the nicest things that anyone's ever said," Scolari said at the time. Scolari is survived by Shayne and four children from previous relationships, Nicholas, Joseph, Keaton, and Cali. (Read more obituary stories.)

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