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October 7, 2015

'Barney Miller' Star Steve Landesberg Dead at 74

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 21st 2010 8:30AM
Steve LandesbergSteve Landesberg, who played dry, intellectual detective Arthur Dietrich on the classic ABC sitcom 'Barney Miller,' has died.

Landesberg passed away in Los Angeles after a battle with cancer. He was 74.

Aside from his role on 'Barney Miller,' Landesberg was also a veteran stand-up comic and writer. He wrote several episodes of the STARZ series 'Head Case,' and played Dr. Finkelstein on the show. He also had a regular role on 'Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers' and made appearances on 'The Golden Girls,' 'Ghost Whisperer,' 'That '70s Show,' 'American Dad,' 'Harvey Birdman, Attorney-At-Law,' 'Law & Order,' The Rockford Files' and many others.

His last role was in a 2009 episode of 'The Cleaner.'

But Landesberg will always be remembered best as Det. Sgt. Arthur Dietrich on the comedy 'Barney Miller.' What a lot of people forget is that Landesberg wasn't on 'Barney Miller' from the beginning; he actually joined the show in the second season. I remember well when he joined the cast because he was very different than the other characters on the show -- a calm know-it-all who could get under your skin. He got into a lot of battles with Harris (Ron Harris), another cop who looked at things differently.

'Barney Miller' is one of those shows that has been lost to time somehow. You don't see it on TV anymore and no one under the age of 35 really remembers it. But it was a well-written, clever series that would be loved today for its quirky characters and odd rhythms. It ran on ABC from 1975 to 1982.

Landesberg is survived by his wife, Nancy, and a daughter.

[You can watch free episodes of 'Barney Miller' on SlashControl.]

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I am glad to see that a lot more people liked Barney Miller than i thought. This was an outstanding comedy, it ranks right up there with the best ever. The one comment about the crap reality shows on today,i agree, maybe there are no more great writers and producers of comedy like Barney Miller.

January 08 2011 at 9:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Steve Landesberg was extremely talented. He stood out on Barney Miller, which was something considering the entire cast was fantastic and it remains perhaps the BEST most entertaining TV show ever.

December 27 2010 at 7:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We can't possibly find room on TV for such a classy show like this. Where would all the REALITY CRAP play???? What a shame our society is so sick in the head. Anyway, he was great and I think it is a shame he died so young.

December 27 2010 at 3:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

On your Facebook activity you say Barney Miller dead at 65 but on your AOL TV News you say Barney Miller dead at 74 which one is it 65 or 74???

December 27 2010 at 11:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm a little under 35 and I remember the reruns back in the 1980's and early 90's. I was just a kid but that was one of my favorite shows to watch. Mr. Landesburg was on "Everybody Hates Chris" a couple of years ago and he looked the same. That's sad to hear that he passed away.

December 26 2010 at 5:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
K. Hanson

He had a pleasant demeanor. It was sad to read that he passed. May he RIP.

December 26 2010 at 2:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
D Sutherland

Me. Lansberg was an extridorinarly talen, from all of his performances. I particularly enjoyed his guest star on The Goden Girls. He was believable, yet extremely funny. I will never forget his "monkey love" storyline. I will always remember his outstanding and humorous performance. He will always be remembered. Gone too soon, yet we have him to warm our hearts. My heart is with his family. And I know he is now happier and funnier than ever. Till we meet again, I love you and the happiness you brought to me.

December 24 2010 at 12:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Unlike many sitcoms that start with a bang and begin to slide, Barney Miller improved with time. Steve was great as Dietrich, and his appearence marked the beginning of the shows best period. So sad to see him go. May he rest in peace, and may his family always remember he was loved by many who never met him.

December 22 2010 at 5:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike Doran

According to the New York Times obit, Steve Landesberg was in fact 74.

The obit quotes his daughter as saying something along these lines: He didn't start in the business until he was about 40, and figured (as many do) that he might prolong his career if he fudged his age a bit.

She said that most people were surprised at the 65 figure.

Anyway, for as good a performer as Steve Landesberg, any age is too soon.

December 22 2010 at 1:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

agree this and WKRP were two of the best shows. they just don't have good script writers anymore got to have blood, guns, guts all over the place or they don't think it is any good but those who enjoyed the oldies knew how GREAT TV comedy can be. the only show that even comes close is the new one with Jim Belushi "The Defenders" I hope they don't cancel it just because its not full of guns & violence but has decent writing.

December 22 2010 at 4:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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