Actor David Birney has died at the age of 83. The reason for loss of life was Alzheimer’s illness at his house in Santa Monica. His life associate Michele Roberge confirmed the information to The New York Times. He is survived by daughters, Kate and Mollie Birney, son Peter Baxter, stepdaughter Eva Bush, stepson Ted Bush, two grandchildren, and his brothers, Gregory and Glenn.
Birney’s tv profession spanned almost 40 years. It all started with an element within the 1964 collection Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing and lasted via to a visitor look in Without a Trace in 2007. Birney additionally had recurring spots and roles in a number of traditional exhibits, corresponding to Murder, She Wrote, The Love Boat, and Hawaii Five-O. His best-known components have been as Dr. Ben Samuels on the primary season of the 1982 drama St. Elsewhere, and the lead function within the 1972 sitcom Bridget Loves Bernie. The present launched Birney to co-star Meredith Baxter, to whom he was married to from 1974 to 1989, having three kids collectively. However, whereas Bridget Met Bernie was successful with the rankings, it additionally confronted criticism from Jewish teams as a consequence of accusations of stereotypes.
“Why does everyone need to know if I’m Jewish?” Birney advised The Times in 1972. “I actually discover it offensive as a result of I don’t know whether or not they’re asking about my faith or my background. Actually, I’m an Irish Protestant, however I’ve no organized spiritual affiliation. And faith is far too critical a factor to speak about. After all, we’re all actors, and no person asks if it’s troublesome being Protestant and enjoying Macbeth, or being Jewish and enjoying Irish.”
David Birney Was Active in Theater
Besides his roles on tv, Birney was additionally very energetic within the theater neighborhood. Throughout his profession, he had quite a few roles in theatrical productions everywhere in the United States, spanning from Chester, Massachusetts, to Santa Maria, California. He left St. Elsewhere as a consequence of a dedication that he had on Broadway. His Broadway debut was in a 1969 manufacturing of The Miser. He additionally performed a few of Shakespeare’s most well-known roles, corresponding to Hamlet, Romeo, and Macbeth.
“Listen, I’m an excellent actor. I solely took the TV collection as a result of the choices for actors get fewer and fewer. I got here in within the mid‐sixties when (*83*) actors dominated the American theater, and for an actor eager to do Shakespeare, you needed to steal these components across the nation one way or the other. I’m very lucky to have been nearly steadily employed, however I haven’t at all times executed what I’ve wished to do.”
“Another motive I took Bridget Loves Bernie was that it’s only a half‐hour present with not numerous work to do and it solely takes six months of the 12 months to movie, which I hope will depart me time to return again to New York and play components I like on stage and in movie. I’ll go wherever at any time to do Romeo — you’ll be able to print that.”
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