Peter Scolari death: Bosom Buddies and Girls actor dies aged 66

Scolari won an Emmy for his role as Tad Horvath, the father of Lena Dunham’s Hannah Horvath, in Girls

Clémence Michallon
New York City
Friday 22 October 2021 20:27
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<p>Peter Scolari attends the 44th International Emmy Awards on 21 November 2016 in New York City</p>

Peter Scolari attends the 44th International Emmy Awards on 21 November 2016 in New York City

Peter Scolari, who starred with Tom Hanks in Bosom Buddies and won an Emmy for his work in Girls, has died aged 66.

His manager Ellen Lubin Sanitsky announced the death to Deadline. Scolari had been treated for cancer for two years. He died on Friday morning in New York, Sanitsky told The Associated Press.

Scolari first gained attention as Hanks’s co-star in the sitcom Bosom Buddies, which ran from 1980 to 1982 on ABC in the US.

He and Hanks starred as two men working in advertising who disguised themselves as women in order to live in affordable, female-only housing.

Scolari and Hanks worked together on other occasions, including in the 1996 comedy That Thing You Do!, which was also Hanks’s directorial debut, and in Nora Ephron’s 2013 play Lucky Guy, about journalist Mike McAlary.

In 2016, Scolari earned the Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as Tad Horvath, the father of Hannah Horvath (Lena Dunham), in Girls.

Dunham paid tribute to Scolari on Friday, sharing a series of images of his performances and writing: “The shyest extrovert, the most dramatic comedian, the most humble icon. You had lived enough life to know that a TV show was just a TV show, but also to appreciate just what it meant to be allowed to play pretend for a living – and you never let us forget that this job was a privilege.”

She added of herself and Becky Ann Baker, who played Hannah’s mother Loreen Horvath on Girls: “Becky Ann and I loved every second of playing your family and I couldn’t have been raised up by a better TV ‘papa.’ Thank you, Scolari, for every chat between set ups, every hug onscreen and off and every ‘Oh, Jeez.’ We will miss you so much.”

Scolari also played on Broadway in Wicked, Hairspray, and 2014’s Bronx Bombers, in which he played baseball star Yogi Berra.

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His recent roles included Bishop Thomas Marx on the supernatural series Evil. Robert King, the show’s co-creator, remembered Scolari on Twitter on Friday, writing: “Peter Scolari, who died today, was one of the funniest – sneakily funny – actors we’ve worked with. He always took a nothing scene and found different ways to twist it, and throw in odd pauses that made it jump. I will try to collect my thoughts more. He was just wonderful.”

Scolari received three Emmy nominations for his work as Michael Harris, the husband to Julia Duffy’s character Stephanie and boss to Bob Newhart’s inn owner and local TV host in the 1980s sitcom Newhart.

His four-decade-plus career included guest roles on ER, White Collar, and Blue Bloods.

Scolari is survived by his wife, actor Tracy Shayne, who played opposite him as Berra's wife in Bronx Bombers. Scolari is also survived by his children Nicholas, Joseph, Keaton, and Cali.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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