Celebrity News: Actor Peter Scolari dies at age 66

Peter Scolari, Star of Bosom Buddies. NYC. June 2016. By Greg2600 – Peter Scolari, CC BY-SA 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org


Peter Thomas Scolari (September 12, 1955 – October 22, 2021) was an American actor, best known for his roles as Michael Harris on Newhart (1984–1990) and Henry Desmond in Bosom Buddies (1980–1982). Scolari received three Emmy nominations for his work on Newhart and won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his recurring role as Tad Horvath on Girls in 2016.

Scolari was born in New Rochelle, New York, on September 12, 1955.



Scolari’s first ongoing role was in his first short-lived 1980 sitcom Goodtime Girls, as the juggling neighbor of the title characters. He was then cast co-starring with then-unknown Tom Hanks in another sitcom, Bosom Buddies, as one of two creative professionals who disguise themselves as women to get an affordable apartment in a women’s-only residence. After Bosom Buddies was cancelled in 1982 and still struggling as an actor, Scolari joined the cast of Newhart opposite Bob Newhart in 1984, where he played Michael Harris, the yuppie local TV producer, until the series’ conclusion in 1990.

Following central roles in the unsuccessful series Family Album and Dweebs, Scolari spent three seasons playing inventor Wayne Szalinski, a role originated on film by Rick Moranis, in the TV adaptation of the Disney film Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. He later had a recurring role as the father of Lena Dunham‘s character on HBO’s Girls, for which he won an Emmy in 2016. He also portrayed Gotham City’s corrupt police commissioner, Gillian B. Loeb, in Fox’s superhero crime drama Gotham.

Personal life

He was married to Debra Steagal, and later to actress Cathy Trien, with whom he had two children. He married long-time girlfriend Tracy Shayne in June 2013.

A 2014 episode of Oprah: Where Are They Now? brought up Scolari’s substance abuse and his struggle with bipolar disorder.

Scolari died from leukemia in Manhattan on October 22, 2021, at age 66. He had been diagnosed with the disease two years earlier.

Scolari was an avid juggler and occasionally showcased his talents on television like in the 1982 Circus of the Stars and on talk show appearances.

He is survived by his wife, Tracy Shayne, and children Nicholas, Joseph, Keaton, and Cali.


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