Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 26 January 2020

Actor Ron Leibman, who played Rachel's father in 'Friends', dead at 82

Leibman had a lengthy career in film, theatre and television

Ron Leibman, left, with wife Jessica Walter at the 57th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. Leibman has died after an illness at age 82. AP
Ron Leibman, left, with wife Jessica Walter at the 57th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. Leibman has died after an illness at age 82. AP

Actor Ron Leibman, who appeared in movies, theatre and television in a career that spanned six decades and won a Tony award for Tony Kushner's iconic play Angels in America, has died after an illness. He was 82.

Leibman's agent, Robert Attermann, said the actor died Friday. He gave no further details, but a person who knew the actor, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the cause was pneumonia. Leibman is survived by his wife, the actress Jessica Walter.

In his lengthy career, Leibman played a huge variety of roles both dramatic and comic. He appeared in numerous films including Norma Rae, opposite Sally Field, and Slaughterhouse-Five. He won an Emmy award in 1979 for the short-lived CBS series Kaz, which he also created. He was perhaps best known on television for his role on Friends, though, in which he played Dr. Leonard Green, the father of Rachel, played by Jennifer Aniston.

A crowning moment of Leibman's career was his leading-actor Tony in 1993 for playing the fearsome role of Roy Cohn, the conservative lawyer and chief counsel to Sen. Joseph McCarthy who died of Aids in 1986.

Sally Field, who won an Oscar for Norma Rae,, paid tribute to the actor on Twitter.

”So many of the best memories of my career have Ron Leibman in them," Field wrote. She thanked him “for being my champion.”

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Updated: December 7, 2019 12:05 PM

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