Ron Glass, Emmy-Nominated Actor Known for ‘Barney Miller’ and ‘Firefly,’ Dies at 71

Ron Glass Dead

Ron Glass, a prolific TV actor known for playing Ron Harris in the sitcom “Barney Miller” and Shepherd Derrial Book in “Firefly,” has died. He was 71.

The actor’s rep confirmed the death to Variety, but had no further details regarding the cause or location.

Glass was born in Evansville, Ind. and went on to study drama and literature at the University of Evansville. He began his career in Hollywood in episodes of “Sanford and Son,” “Hawaii Five-O” and “All in the Family” in the early ’70s.


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In 1975 Glass found his breakout role in “Barney Miller,” set in an NYPD station. His character was a dapper and ambitious intellectual, obsessed with launching his career as a writer. The role earned Glass a Primetime Emmy nomination in 1982 in the supporting actor category.

After “Barney Miller,” Glass would go on to star in 18 episodes of the 1982 “The Odd Couple” remake “The New Odd Couple” as well as making guest appearances on “The Twilight Zone,” “Family Matters” and “Murder, She Wrote,” among other shows. In the late 1999 he appeared on two episodes of “Friends” Ross Geller’s divorce lawyer, Russell.

In 2002 Glass joined Joss Whedon’s cult favorite “Firefly,” playing a spiritual figure with a mysterious past. Glass would also reprise the role in the 2005 movie “Serenity.”

Glass was still a regular face on American television as recently as 2014 when he appeared in an episode of “CSI.” That same year he appeared in “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” as Dr. Streiten.

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  1. Lynn Purcell says:

    I watch repeats of Barney Miller on Ant TV. Ron Glass was great on that show.

    • marlene says:

      What is Ant TV. I’m losing Barney Miller on Family Net tomorrow because it’s been changed to the Cowboy Network. So disappointing. I’ve been trying to find out where I can see Miller and All My Family now.

  2. CAROL says:

    I just loved Ron Glass. A beautiful person and e very real, wonderful actor. I remember him well from so many shows of the 70’s, I guess it was, and after
    I was inspired by his beautiful smile. God be with his friends and family. RIP.💘

  3. I hate to hear of this great actor passing away.
    I loved the episode of Maude he was on also.
    Very talented man.
    Prayers going out to his family.
    May he RIP😢

  4. Reece says:

    People seem to forget the very fine sitcom\drama called ‘Frank’s Place’ that he starred in. A truly wonderful performance by Mr. Glass.

  5. ALONZETTA says:

    Mr. Glass was an actor endowed with talent and I shall miss his professional demeanour and ability to work well in many ensemble performances.

  6. loco73 says:

    A man with talent, class and a dignified presence both on and off screen. Though brief, his role as Shepherd Derrial Book in “Firefly” and the sequel movie “Serenity” in which Mr. Glass starred, really captured, I think, his essence as an individual. Given the times we live in, we need a lot more decent and dignified people outhere. Now we lost another one. 2016 has really been one decrepit and soul wrenching year…

    RIP Ron Glass, my condolences to his family and friends!

  7. KB says:

    Such a bummer. I enjoyed him on Firefly, and it’s follow up movie Serenity. Also enjoyed him on Barney Miller, and Agents of Shield. May that wonderful man rest in peace.

  8. Jeri LeBow says:

    Mr. Glass was such a great actor and no one will ever be half the actor as him.
    Rest in Peace

  9. lahillus says:

    Loved you in Barney Miller. Just finished watching an episode as I saw,the news of Mr. Glass’ passing. R.I.P. RON GLASS.

  10. Gary says:

    Loved his character on Barney Miller. RIP Mr. Glass.

  11. Amy Schumer says:

    Trump’s fault

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