Lena Dunham, Bob Newhart and More Stars Pay Tribute to Peter Scolari
By Jessica Vacco-Bolaños
Peter Scolari's friends and former co-stars are paying tribute to the actor after news broke that he had died on Friday following a two-year battle with cancer. He was 66.
Bob Newhart, who co-starred with Scolari on Newhart from 1984 to 1990, was among those who shared fond memories of the late actor.
"I knew that Peter was sick, but his death still comes as a great shock," Newhart told ET. "We were friends and colleagues for over 40 years. Julia and Peter, as a vacuous couple (Michael and Stephanie), were an essential part of the success of Newhart. In life, he was a fantastic person, and it was a joy to work together. He will be sorely missed and his passing at 66 is much too early."
While Scolari got his start on TV in the '70s, it was his success on Girls as Lena Dunham's father which landed him the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in 2016. Dunham took to Instagram to pen an emotional tribute to her onscreen dad on Friday.
"The shyest extrovert, the most dramatic comedian, the most humble icon," she wrote alongside a series of photos. "You had lived enough life to know that a TV show was just a TV show, but also to appreciate just what it meant to be allowed to play pretend for a living- and you never let us forget that this job was a privilege. I remember when you came back from doing a production of the Music Man somewhere- the theater had basically been a barn, there had been no WiFi and you had no understudy- and you were as grateful and delighted as you were when you were nominated for an Emmy."
"You bragged nonstop about your kids," Dunham continued. "You had the best stories- like when you did Circus of the Stars and 'that’s when I learned to walk a tightrope, there’s not much to it'- and when we told you that you would be coming out of the closet on the show you said 'thank you, you can trust me with this.' Becky Ann and I loved every second of playing your family and I couldn’t have been raised up by a better TV 'papa.' Thank you, Scolari, for every chat between set ups, every hug onscreen and off and every 'Oh, Jeez.' We will miss you so much."
Ike Barinholtz commented, "Really beautiful ❤️RIP," on Dunham's post, while Sophia Bush expressed her condolences with a blue heart and the praying emoji.
Betty Buckley, who worked alongside Scolari on White's Lies, tweeted: "Peter Scolari was a lovely, lovely man & a brilliant actor. So honored to have gotten to work with him. Deepest condolences to his wife & family. #RIP."
Here are some more social media tributes for Scolari.
Sad to see the news that Peter Scolari lost his battle with cancer. There wasn't a sweeter man on the planet. We performed together in HAIRSPRAY for a time and he was always a total delight. Farewell, dear Peter.https://t.co/1TPjakwLT3
What a wonderful actor he was! So sad to hear of the loss of the versatile Peter Scolari. I never had the chance to work with him, but I'm grateful for a lifetime of his brilliant performances. #GoneTooSoon 💔 pic.twitter.com/YSia6KO5a9
Peter Scolari was kind enough to appear in our Bosom Buddies episode of The Greatest Event in TV History, and of course couldn’t have been cooler and more generous with his time. I was honored to borrow his role of Henry, even for just a minute. https://t.co/zmPXo0tD34
I met #PeterScolari when we performed w/ @AITAF for the midships of Annapolis. It was my first time, and his kindness, general taking me under his wing-ness, and the huge grin & thumbs up he gave me after my monologue killed, will always be remembered. RIP, kind sir… pic.twitter.com/fIWD0JJDyo