Steve Landesberg, who played Det. Arthur Dietrich on TV’s “Barney Miller,” died this morning in Los Angeles of cancer. He was 74.
Landesberg played a dual role on ABC’s show, which ran from 1975-82, playing not only Dietrich but also Father Paul. He was Emmy nommed for supporting actor on the cop show for each of its last three years on the air.
More recently Landesberg appeared on features like “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “Wild Hogs” as well as Starz series “Head Case” from 2007-09. He played several parts in 2002 series “Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law” and had recurring roles in such skeins as “Harry and the Henderson” and “The Golden Girls.” Landesberg frequently guested on shows including “Seinfeld,” “Law and Order,” “Cosby” “Ghost Whisperer” and “Everybody Hates Chris.”
In 1983 he hosted the eponymous NBCs special “The Steve Landesberg Show.”
The New York native was discovered at a at an open audition conducted by Bill Cosby for NBC’s “The Tonight Show” at Gotham’s Bitter End. That led to gigs at the Improv alongside tyros like David Brenner, Jimmie Walker and Bette Midler and membership in improv group New York Stickball Team.
In 1972 he was featured in NBC’s “Dean Martin Presents the Bobby Darin Amusement Company” and made his film debut in 1973 pic “Blade.”
He did voiceover work in toons like “American Dad” and appeared in regional stage in “Same Time Next Year,” “God’s Favorite” and “Hold Me.”
Landesberg also appeared in commercials, including one for a Ryder truck that was made by his wife, Nancy. He won a Bronze Lion for a commercial at Cannes Lions Intl. Festival of Creativity.
Survivors include wife Nancy and a daughter.