‘Barney Miller’ star Ron Glass dies at 71 – USA TODAY
EVANSVILLE, Ind. â Actor Ron Glass, who broke into theater while a student at the University of Evansville and later starred in the television series Barney MillerÂ and Firefly, has died at age 71.
Glass died Friday of respiratory failure, his agent, Jeffrey Leavett, told The Associated Press on Saturday.
âRon was a private, gentle and caring man,â said Leavett, a longtime friend of the actor. âHe was an absolute delight to watch on screen. Words cannot adequately express my sorrow.â
Glass was a cast member on Barney MillerÂ during the showâs entire run. On the show, which was set in a New York Police Department station in Greenwich Village, he played Ron Harris, an intellectual, fashionable detective who also dabbled as an author. In 1982, the role earned Glass an Emmy nomination in the Supporting Actor category.
The show aired from 1975-1982, winning two Golden Globes and two Emmy Awards for best comedy series. The ensemble cast included Hal Linden as precinct Capt. Barney Miller, Max Gail as Detective Stan âWojoâ Wojciehowicz, and Abe Vigoda as Detective Phil Fish.
On the 2002 science-fiction series FireflyÂ and its sequel movie, Serenity, Glass played Derrial Book, a shepherd and the frequent giver or spiritual advice.
Glass had numerous other acting credits, with his most recent appearances coming on CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationÂ (2014) and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2014), according to his IMBD.com profile. He appeared on two episodes of FriendsÂ in 1999. Before his breakout Barney MillerÂ role, Glass had guest roles on Sanford & Son, All in the FamilyÂ and Hawaii Five-OÂ in the early 1970s.
The Evansville native graduated from the University of Evansville with a double major in drama and literature. He had served as a member of the universityâs board of trustees since 2008.
Long involved in philanthropy in Evansville, he was chairman of the Evansville African American Museum national capital campaign and was a recipient of a key to the city.
Lu Porter, director of the Evansville African American Museum, said Glass took great interest in the museum and stopped by often when he was in town. Several artifacts from his acting career, including a police badge from Barney Miller, are on display there.
âLoved him. He was an awesome man,â Porter said. âWe had a fun, fun time. Iâm going to miss that going forward.â
Glass told the Courier & PressÂ in 2007 that when he started at Evansville, he aspired to be a teacher. But when he took a class in oral interpretation, a teacher named Dudley Thomas encouraged him to try out for a play, and his interest in acting blossomed. After graduation, he made his stage debut at Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis before moving to Los Angeles.
Glass was active in community efforts in Los Angeles as well. He was chairman of the board of the Al Wooten, Jr. Heritage Center, a Los Angeles based organization dedicated to empowering the growth of young people in the community in crisis, according to his University of Evansville profile.
Information on funeral services and survivors was not immediately available.
Contributing: Jayme Deerwester , USA TODAY; The Associated Press