Philip Abbott dead at 73

Veteran character actor

Veteran character actor Philip Abbott, who played FBI assistant director Arthur Ward on the TV series “The FBI,” died Feb. 23 in Los Angelesof cancer. He was 73.

In addition to his role on “The FBI,” Abbott worked in television’s early days on such series as “Studio One” and “Armstrong Theatre.” He also had guest roles on “Columbo,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “Highway to Heaven” and “Little House on the Prairie.”

Abbott’s feature credits include “The Bachelor Party,” “Sweet Bird of Youth,” “The Spiral Road” and “The Invisible Boy.”

Abbott’s final role was in the upcoming film “Starry Night,” with his son David Abbott Alexander.

Abbott was a co-founder of Theatre West. His work there included “The Web and the Rock,” “O’ Socrates,” “Sonata for Rimbaud” and a critically acclaimed adaptation of Robert Frost’s poem “Promises to Keep.”

He served as the honorary mayor of Tarzana in the early 1970s, and served terms as the president and board chairman of the Los Angeles United Cerebral Palsy-Spastic Children’s Foundation.

In addition to his son, David, Abbott is survived by his wife, Jane DuFrayne, a daughter, a second son, two brothers, a sister and two grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday at Theatre West in Los Angeles.

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