Richard Erdman, Prolific Actor Who Appeared in ‘Stalag 17’ and ‘Community,’ Dies at 93

Richard Erdman appears as "Leonard" on the NBC show "Community" in a photo released in December 2011. (Credit: Neil Jacobs/NBC via Getty Images)

Richard Erdman appears as "Leonard" on the NBC show "Community" in a photo released in December 2011. (Credit: Neil Jacobs/NBC via Getty Images)

Richard Erdman, a wisecracking character actor who appeared in more than 175 film and television productions, including as a barracks chief in “Stalag 17,” a time-stopping boor in “The Twilight Zone” and an elderly college student on the more recent sitcom “Community,” has died at an assisted-living facility in Los Angeles. He was 93.

He had dementia and suffered a fall about two weeks ago, said film historian Alan K. Rode, an executor of his estate. He died Saturday.

For many viewers, Erdman was the consummate “that guy” — a difficult-to-identify-but-recognizable supporting player who injected wit and energy into television shows such as “Perry Mason,” “Cheers,” “Murder, She Wrote” and eventually “Community,” which endeared him to a younger generation when the series premiered on NBC in 2009. It moved to Yahoo’s streaming service for its sixth and final season in 2015.

Erdman made his film debut as a messenger boy in “Mr. Skeffington” (1944), starring Bette Davis, and went on to appear in dozens of crime dramas and military epics, often as the hero’s witty sidekick.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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