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