Peter Scolari, a veteran actor who gained prominence on “Bosom Buddies” alongside Tom Hanks, died Friday morning.
Scolari was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and had been ailing for two years, according to his manager Ellen Lubin Sanitsky. He was 66 years old.
Scolari has acted in a variety of films and television series during his career, including “Newhart,” “Murphy Brown,” and “The Good Fight.” He was nominated for an Emmy for his depiction of Hannah’s father Tad Horvath on “Girls” in 2016.
“Bosom Buddies” aired on ABC for two seasons. Scolari and Hanks appeared on the show dressed as ladies in order to obtain a cheap women-only house. In real life, the two actors remained close, with Scolari revealing in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that Hanks toasted him at his wedding.
“I’m at a loss for words as to what I’ve done in my life to earn this type of affection,” Scolari stated during his toast.
He has starred in a television adaption of “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,” “Gotham,” and HBO’s “Madoff.”
Scolari co-starred with Hanks in Broadway productions of “Hairspray,” “Sly Fox,” “Wicked,” “Magic/Bird,” and “Lucky Guy.”
His wife, Tracy Shayne, and children Nicholas, Joseph, Keaton, and Cali survive him.
On Friday, colleagues and friends paid tribute to Scolari.
Lena Dunham described her late co-star as “the shyest extrovert, the most theatrical comedian, and the most humble icon.” “You’d lived long enough to understand that a television program was just that—a television show—but also to appreciate what it meant to be permitted to play pretend for a living—and you never let us forget.”
“It’s heartbreaking to learn that Peter Scolari has succumbed to cancer,” Harvey Fierstein wrote. “There was no sweeter man on the face of the earth. For a time, we worked together in HAIRSPRAY, and he was always a total thrill. “I bid you farewell, darling Peter.”
Peter Scolari, who died today, was one of the most amusing—sneakily amusing—actors with whom we’ve ever worked. He always took a mundane scenario and twisted it in unexpected ways and inserted unusual pauses to make it leap,” writer Robert King tweeted. “He was simply fantastic.”