Robert Prosky, a character actor with hundreds of credits on stage and screen including “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “Hill Street Blues,” died Monday of complications from a heart procedure in Washington, D.C. He was 77.
Prosky appeared in more than 200 plays on Broadway and with Arena Stage, a regional theater company in Washington. He appeared in 38 films and numerous television shows.
Born in Philadelphia, he worked in his father’s grocery store and as a bookkeeper before appearing in this first play in Washington.
In the 1980s, Prosky spent three years on the NBC television series “Hill Street Blues” as a police sergeant. He later appeared as a priest on trial for murder in ABC’s legal drama, “The Practice.” Among his other TV credits were “Cheers,” “Frasier,” “Murder She Wrote” and “Lou Grant.”
In “Mrs. Doubtfire,” Prosky’s role as the TV station owner who hired Robin Williams was one of several roles as newsmen. He often played the heavy as well, in films such as “Christine.” His other film credits include “Thief,” “Dead Man Walking,” “Broadcast News,” “Hoffa” and “The Natural.”
He toured as the populist orator Matthew Harrison Brady in “Inherit the Wind” and as the stage manager in Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town,” and periodically returned to the New York stage. He earned Tony Award nominations in two Broadway shows, “Glengarry Glen Ross” and Lee Blessing’s “A Walk in the Woods,” and also appeared in “A View from the Bridge.” He also completed a long run in Michael Frayn’s play “Democracy.”
He is survived by his wife Ida; sons John and Andrew, both actors, son Stefan; and three grandchildren.