Peter Scolari: Industry Mourns Loss of Bosom Buddies, Newhart Actor

Prolific television actor Peter Scolari, whose career spanned six decades, passed at the age of 66 following a two-year battle with cancer. Making his debut in the 1978 anthology feature Take Off, Scolari became a TV staple with roles on Angie, Goodtime Girls, and the TV movie The Further Adventures of Wally Brown before hitting his big break on the cross-dressing, hidden identity sitcom Bosom Buddies co-starring opposite Tom Hanks and since becoming lifelong friends. Following the two-season run, the actor made numerous guest and recurring appearances on several shows and TV movies before landing his next major role as Michael Harris on Newhart for 142 of its 184 episodes (though most fans can't remember a time when he wasn't on the show, that's how well-embraced Scolari's performance was.

LOS ANGELES - SEP 11: Peter Scolari at the 2016 Primetime Creative Emmy Awards - Day 1 - Press Room at the Microsoft Theater on September 11, 2016 in Los Angeles, CA (Joe Seer /
LOS ANGELES – SEP 11: Peter Scolari at the 2016 Primetime Creative Emmy Awards – Day 1 – Press Room at the Microsoft Theater on September 11, 2016, in Los Angeles, CA (Joe Seer /

While mostly continuing his presence on TV on live-action and voiceover roles, Scolari managed to do the rare film including reuniting with Hanks on his 1996 film That Thing You Do! as Troy Chesterfield. Some of his most notable recent TV work included starring the TV adaptation of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids as Wayne Szalinski, originally played by Rick Moranis in the films. He also played Commissioner Loeb in the Batman prequel series Gotham. The actor won an Emmy for his recurring role as Ted Horvath in the HBO series Girls. His final roles were in the AppleTV+ Miniseries Lisey's Story as Dave Debusher and the Paramount+ series Evil as Bishop Thomas Marx in both seasons.

Tributes poured in for Scolari including Evil co-creator Robert King, and co-stars Katja Herbers, Aasif Mandvi, and Mike Colter. "I know I can speak for everyone on the set of Evil when I say Peter will be sorely missed," Colter wrote. "He was a fantastic storyteller and a consummate professional. Our set won't be the same without him. Peter, we thank you for the lessons and the laughs."

Scolari's co-stars on Newhart in Bob Newhart, Julia Duffy, and William Sanderson also posted their own tributes.

Other tributes includeGirls creator and star Lena Dunham, actors Mark Hamill, Jane Lynch, Harvey Fierstein, Michael McKean, and more.

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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