David Birney, ‘St. Elsewhere,’ ‘Bridget Loves Bernie’ star, dead at 83

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David Birney, ‘St. Elsewhere,’ ‘Bridget Loves Bernie’ star, useless at 83

David Birney, star of TV’s “Bridget Loves Bernie” and “St. Elsewhere” and Broadway’s “Amadeus,” died Friday at his residence in Santa Monica, Calif. after a five-year battle with Alzheimer’s illness. He was 83.

The veteran actor’s passing was confirmed by “life companion” Michele Roberge, the New York Instances reported.

Birney first gained mainstream fame in 1972 reverse his future spouse Meredith Baxter within the CBS sitcom “Bridget Loves Bernie.” The present was fashionable — slotted between rankings juggernauts “The Mary Tyler Moore Present” and “All within the Household — however short-lived because of controversial protests by Jewish teams who disagreed with the “intermarriage” of Birney’s Jewish cabbie character, Bernie Steinberg, and Baxter’s Bridget Fitzgerald, a Catholic grade faculty trainer from a rich household.

Cast of made-for-tv movie "CBS Schoolbreak Special" 15 and Getting Straight: David Birney (standing), (seated, from left) Corey Feldman, Drew Barrymore, and Tatum O'Neal.
Forged of made-for-tv film “CBS Schoolbreak Particular” 15 and Getting Straight: David Birney (standing), (seated, from left) Corey Feldman, Drew Barrymore, and Tatum O’Neal.
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Each divorced on the time, Birney and the futxure “Household Ties” matriarch, who had two kids from her first marriage, bought hitched for actual in 1974. The pair had three children of their very own earlier than getting divorced in 1989.

Baxter later claimed that Birney was emotionally and bodily abusive in her bombshell 2011 e-book “Untied: A Memoir of Household, Fame, and Floundering.” He vehemently denied her claims, deeming them an “appalling abuse of the reality.”

The son of an FBI agent, Birney was born on April 23, 1939, and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He graduated from Dartmouth Faculty with a level in English literature in 1961, then earned his grasp’s in theater from UCLA, Selection reported. After a tour within the US Military and a yr with the Barter Theatre in Virginia, Birney made his New York theater debut in 1967’s “The Comedy of Errors,” “King John” and “Titus Andronicus” on the Shakespeare Pageant for Joseph Papp.

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David Birney and Linda Purl in 1977's "Testimony of Two Men."
David Birney and Linda Purl in 1977’s “Testimony of Two Males.”
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Actor David Birney and the Consul General of France Philippe Larrieu in 2005 at the after party for the film premiere of "The Chorus."
Actor David Birney and the Consul Basic of France Philippe Larrieu in 2005 on the after celebration for the movie premiere of “The Refrain.”
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“I solely took the TV collection as a result of the choices for actors get fewer and fewer,” he informed the Instances on the top of his new TV fame in 1972. “I got here in within the mid-’60s when British actors dominated the American theater, and for an actor eager to do Shakespeare you needed to steal these components across the nation somehow. I’m very lucky to have been virtually steadily employed, however I haven’t all the time achieved what I’ve wished to do … I’ll go anyplace at any time to do Romeo — you may print that.”

After the aborted success of “Bridget Loves Bernie,” Birney earned acclaim for enjoying John Quincy Adams within the 1976 PBS manufacturing of “The Adams Chronicles.” The identical yr, he assumed the position of NYC detective Frank Serpico in an NBC collection tailored from Sidney Lumet’s 1973 movie “Serpico” (1973), which earned Al Pacino an Oscar nod for greatest actor because the title character.

Within the ensuing a long time, he was a well-known face on tv and the stage, with a standout position as Antonio Salieri in Peter Shaffer’s Tony-winning “Amadeus” on Broadway. He was additionally within the unique solid of NBC’s traditional medical comedy-drama, “St. Elsewhere,” in 1982 and 1983, however left the hit present to pursue his half in “Amadeus.”

He additionally equipped the voice of Anakin Skywalker within the NPR radio dramatization of “Return of the Jedi” in 1996. His last credited position was a visitor spot on the CBS police procedural drama “With out a Hint” in 2007.

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David Birney in a 1985 portrait.
David Birney in a 1985 portrait.
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Along with his profession accomplishments, Birney chaired the American Diabetes Affiliation for 5 years and served on the Dartmouth Faculty Board of Overseers for the Hopkins Heart for the Performing Arts, in response to his official IMDB bio.

Birney is survived by his kids with Baxter — daughters Kate and Mollie Birney and a son, Peter Baxter — in addition to a stepdaughter, Eva Bush, and a stepson, Ted Bush, Baxter’s kids from a earlier marriage. He additionally had two grandchildren and his brothers, Glenn and Gregory.

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