Actor Robert Prosky Dies
Robert Prosky, 77, a supporting actor with hundreds of film, TV and stage credits, and whose roles included an avuncular sergeant on the NBC police drama "Hill Street Blues" and a desperate real estate salesman in David Mamet's play "Glengarry Glen Ross," died Dec. 8 at Washington Hospital Center. He had complications from a heart procedure.
Starting in 1958, Mr. Prosky began an affiliation at Washington's Arena Stage that transformed him over 23 seasons and 130 roles from a struggling actor to one of the most versatile and prolific performers in a top regional theater.
Among his many film roles were as a station owner who exchanged quips with Robin Williams in "Mrs. Doubtfire" (1993), a longtime executive who gets fired in director James L. Brooks's "Broadcast News" (1987), the defense lawyer for accused killer Sean Penn in "Dead Man Walking" (1995) and a judge in a 1994 remake of "Miracle on 34th Street."
In addition, he played many recurring roles on TV, as the big-hearted desk sergeant Stanislaus "Stan" Jablonski on "Hill Street Blues" from 1984 to 1987 and later as a priest accused of murder on the ABC legal drama "The Practice." He played Kirstie Allie's father on the sitcoms "Cheers" and "Veronica's Closet."
He once told The Post he accepted and turned down the role of a bartender on "Cheers" and was later grateful not to have been a part of the hit comedy because "doing the same role for 6 1/2 years" sent a chill down his spine.
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December 9, 2008; 3:38 PM ET
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