Jay Thomas, who starred in some of television’s most beloved shows, has died at age 69, according to ABC News.
What was the cause of death?
Thomas was battling cancer, ABC News reported, adding that he is survived by his wife, Sally, and three sons.
Thomas was the host of a radio show on Sirius XM. The New York Daily News notes that some fans may also remember him from “his holiday visits on ‘Late Night with David Letterman’ where he and the host would try and knock a meatball off the top of a Christmas tree by throwing footballs.”
According to The Daily News, Thomas was “prhaps best known for playing Jerry Gold on ‘Murphy Brown’ from 1989-1998. He also played Rhea Perlman’s TV husband Eddie LeBec on “Cheers” from 1987-1989 before his character was run over by a zamboni.”
Thomas was an Emmy award winner, reports The Hollywood Reporter, who “also starred on his own sitcom, playing an egotistical sportswriter opposite Susan Dey and then Annie Potts on Love and War, a 1992-95 series created by Murphy Brown’s Diane English.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Thomas often played loud, sleazy types: He recently recurred on Showtime’s Ray Donovan as Marty Grossman, the operator of a salacious TMZ-like website.”
The Texas native also had less-known appearances in a slew of Hollywood films. According to IMDB, “Jay Thomas was born in Kermit, Texas, to Katherine (Guzzino), a tap-dancing South Louisiana belle of Italian descent, and T. Harry Terrell, Sr., an oil man. Reared in New Orleans, he was always active in sports and performing. He won his first award as emcee of the Jesuit High School talent show.” The site lists 93 Hollywood credits to his name.
Hollywood stars posted tributes on social media. “Had the pleasure of casting and directing Jay Thomas many years ago. He was fantastic, an underrated dramatic actor. And a great guy,” wrote actor Rob Lowe.