Landesberg in 1979
November 23, 1936|
New York City, New York, USA
|Died||December 20, 2010
Los Angeles, California, USA
|Occupation||Actor, comedian, voice actor|
|Spouse||Nancy Ross Landesberg|
Steve Landesberg (November 23, 1936 – December 20, 2010) was an American actor, comedian, and voice actor known for his role as the erudite, unflappable police detective Arthur P. Dietrich on the ABC sitcom Barney Miller, for which he was nominated for three Emmy Awards.
Landesberg was born November 23, 1936 in New York City, New York to a milliner mother and a grocery store-owner father. He was part of improv group New York Stickball Team, which performed several shows that were aired on cable television shortly after Barney Miller went off the air.
Landesberg made guest appearances on the TV shows The Rockford Files, Law & Order, Saturday Night Live, The Golden Girls, Ghost Whisperer, That 70's Show and Everybody Hates Chris. He starred in Starz's original show Head Case as Dr. Myron Finkelstein. He appeared in the motion pictures Wild Hogs, Leader of the Band, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
Landesberg is credited with the quote "Honesty is the best policy, but insanity is a better defense."
Landesberg died from colon cancer on December 20, 2010, aged 74. Initial reports of Mr. Landesberg’s death, relying on numerous biographical sources, said he was 65. He is survived by his widow Nancy Ross Landesberg and a daughter.
In acknowledging that he was actually nine years older, his daughter Elizabeth said he had provided varying birth dates over the years. "He got kind of a late start in show business," she explained, "so he tried to straddle the generations. He fooled the whole world. People were surprised to think he was even 65." Landesberg commented on the issue in a 1979 Washington Post profile for which he refused to give his age:
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