Veteran actor Bruce Kirby, perhaps best known for his roles on Columbo and L.A. Law died Sunday, January 24th in Los Angeles at the age of 95. Kirby was also the father of Godfather Part II actor Bruno Kirby, and his passing was announced on Facebook (via Deadline) by his surviving son John Kirby. According to the announcement, Kirby died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. No cause of death was provided, just that Kirby died peacefully.
"My dear brilliant Dad BRUCE KIRBY passed away peacefully last night at Cedars in Los Angeles at the age of 95," John wrote. "My heart is heavy but grateful for all the extra blessed years together. My Step-Mom ROZ's Love & devotion was remarkable & a major force in keeping him alive so long."
Born Bruno Giovanni Quidaciolu on April 28, 1925, Kirby began his television career in the 1950s with appearances in Goodyear Television Playhouse. He would go on to appear in a vast number of iconic television series over the decades, establishing himself as a prolific character actor with appearances in I Dream of Jeannie, Bonanza, Ironside, Hogan's Heroes, Kojak, M*A*S*H, Remington Steele, Night Court, Matlock, Punky Brewster, The Golden Girls, Murphy Brown, The Sopranos, Scrubs, The West Wing, and many, many more.
Kirby is best known to audiences for his roles on the long-running Peter Falk series Columbo in which he notably played Sergeant Kramer for six episodes. He also had a recurring role between 1986 and 1991 on L.A. Law as District Attorney Bruce Rogoff. Outside of television, Kirby appeared in the 1970 film Catch-22, 1986's Stand by Me, 1979's The Muppet Movie, and had a significant role in the Academy Award-winning 2004 film Crash playing the father of Matt Dillon's shady cop. He was also a stage actor, appearing on Broadway in Diamond Orchid in 1964 and Death of a Salesman in 1984.
In his post about his father's passing, John noted his father's love of acting.
"My father loved acting and aside from his extraordinary professional career in television, film & theater, he never stopped working on it from his early years in New York on scholarship with Lee Strasberg for 9 years, LA's Theatre East & The Actors Studio. It was very painful for him when he no longer could perform. I am so glad his wonderful work will live on…"