Goldman’s agent Doug Ely confirmed the news on Facebook. In his post, Ely remembered the actor as “one of a kind” and recounted details of their long friendship.
“It’s with great sadness that I must tell you that Danny Goldman has passed away. He passed peacefully at home today amongst family and friends, after having suffered a couple of strokes around New Years,” Ely’s statement reads.
“I’ve known Danny since 1980 when I first became an agent and he 1st started casting on his own. We became fast friends and have been for the last 40 years. He joined our poker game early on and has even hosted it for the last 20 years or so. We’ve played together in our baseball rotisserie league for the last 32 years. In fact, he won it as a rookie in his very 1st year. He was quite the baseball fan. He was quite the actor as well.”
Born in New York City in 1939, Goldman grew up in the area, eventually graduating from Columbia University in 1961.
Goldman began his screen-acting career in 1963 with a role on “General Hospital.” One of his first major roles was as a main cast member on the 1971 sitcom “The Good Life.” Over a career spanning six decades, Goldman made guest appearances in dozens of programs, including “Hawaii Five-0,” “Columbo,” “CHiPs,” “The King of Queens” and “Criminal Minds.”
Goldman’s best known role was on the Hanna-Barbera animated series “The Smurfs,” in which he played the smug but friendly bookworm Brainy Smurf. Goldman served as a main cast member from 1981 to 1989.
Goldman also appeared in the Mel Brooks-directed 1974 comedy “Young Frankenstein,” in which he appeared in the opening scene as a precocious medical student that inadvertently goads Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) into an outburst over his grandfather’s unorthodox experiments.
“Danny was truly one of a kind,” Ely’s statement reads. “He always had strong opinions and didn’t mind telling you about them. He was incredibly funny. He loved to root for the little guy and help wherever he could. He had a huge heart. We lost a good one today. He will be missed.”