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RIP Peter Scolari, Star from Bosom Buddies & Newhart

On October 22, 2021, actor Peter Scolari passed away from cancer at the age of 66. The actor was best known for his roles on the shows Bosom Buddies and Newhart, which saw him starring alongside stars such as Bob Newhart and Tom Hanks. In later years, the actor continued working diligently on television and on Broadway until his recent death. Join Facts Verse as we pay our respects to Peter Scolari, star from Bosom Buddies and Newhart.


Peter Scolari rose to fame acting on the short-lived cult classic sitcom Bosom Buddies, which aired on the ABC network during the 1980s. Alongside Peter, the show featured Tom Hanks in an early role. Both actors would go on to careers after the show’s early cancellation, but Tom certainly ended up being the bigger star of the two. Despite this, Peter remained a respected character actor in the industry up until his recent death on October 22, 2021.

Two years prior to Peter’s death, the actor had been diagnosed with cancer. Peter then struggled with the disease for the remaining two years of his life, and eventually succumbed. It was his manager, Ellen Lubin, that made his death public, and many of his friends and coworkers came out to pay their respects for the beloved character actor.

In more recent years, Peter had become known for his supporting turn on the premium cable series Girls, which netted the actor an Emmy Award in 2016. Peter played the character of Tad Horvath, who was the father of lead character Hannah, played by series creator Lena Dunham. Lena was one of the many celebrities who came out after the announcement of Peter’s death to pay their respects.

Although his 2016 win for his supporting role on Girls was the first time that Peter had ever won an Emmy Award, he had previously been nominated multiple times. After the actor’s turn on Bosom Buddies came to an end, he was given an even more successful role on Bob Newhart’s sitcom Newhart. He played the character of Michael Harris, and was nominated for his performance in the series three separate times. Bob Newhart was another one of the celebrities that came out to pay their respects for Peter after his passing, with Bob expressing how important the actor’s comedic performance had been to the overall success of the show.

Despite the fact that Peter Scolari had been diagnosed with cancer for two years, he was still active through the battle and had recently completed work on the second season of the show Evil. In the series, Peter played the character of Bishop Thomas Marx. After the announcement of Peter’s death, the team behind the series expressed just how much Peter had added to the show, saying that any subsequent seasons wouldn’t be the same without his professionalism.

Besides being a star on television, Peter was also a star on Broadway. The actor had appeared in notable roles on Broadway many times, including reuniting with his Bosom Buddies costar Tom Hanks in 2013 for the production Lucky Guy. Other Broadway shows that Peter appeared in during his time included the hit musicals Wicked and Hairspray. Still, many people associate Peter most closely with his role on the short-lived cult classic series Bosom Buddies.

Although Bosom Buddies only lasted for two seasons on the ABC network, it has become a cult classic in the years since due to both the increased status of star Tom Hanks, as well as the show’s novel and bizarre premise. The show followed two friends and coworkers at an advertising agency that decided to pose as women in order to live at a women-only residence cheaper than a normal apartment building.

The women-only residence was known as the Susan B. Anthony Hotel, and the two male friends successfully conned their way into being able to stay there. Once living there, they would switch genders freely by saying that their brothers were visiting, and used their male visages to flirt with the women in the building. Of course, hilarious hijinks ensued for two seasons, and also a good deal of romance.

On the show, Tom’s character was sarcastic, while Peter’s character was sweet. This proved ironic, as Tom was the one who would go on to become the charming and innocent leading man. Despite the fact that Tom went on to become a good deal more successful than Peter, the latter never held a grudge against the former. Instead, the two remained great friends! In addition to reuniting in 2013 for the aforementioned Broadway production Lucky Guy, Tom also made room for Peter to make a cameo in his directorial debut, the hit 1996 comedy film That Thing You Do!

Although Peter Scolari didn’t go on to achieve leading man status like his costar Tom, he still achieved a good deal of success in his own right as a character actor after the cancellation of Bosom Buddies. In more recent years, the actor could be seen on Fox’s hit show Gotham, following the character of Batman during his early years. Peter also had a memorable turn as Peter Madoff in the made-for-television HBO movie Madoff. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! Subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!

Although Peter Scolari’s Emmy Award victory for his supporting turn on the show Girls was technically a fluke, it ended up being a defining moment in the unsung character actor’s decades-long career. The actor wasn’t initially nominated, but one of the original nominees ended up not being actually qualified. Because of this, Peter found himself on the ballot, and he miraculously took home the award!

While Peter technically won for his performance in Girls, it was hard not to look at the victory as a token for all that Peter had given the entertainment industry over the years. The victory was especially sweet for Peter given that fact that he had been nominated for several Emmy Awards previously but had never won. The win gave Peter validation for all of his hard work in the industry, and it was only five years later that the actor would pass away from cancer.

Lena Dunham has a great appreciation for all that Peter Scolari brought to Girls as her on-screen father. The actress’s words of respect for Peter after his passing were among the most eloquent that were expressed by the late character actor’s peers, with her expressing that she couldn’t have possibly asked for a better father figure on her show.

Although Lena’s words after Peter’s passing may have been the most poignant uttered by the late actor’s celebrity peers, they certainly weren’t the only ones. Sentiments of respect were heard across the spectrum, from stars such as Harvey Fierstein, Michael McKean, and Jackie Hoffman.

Harvey Fierstein had appeared alongside Peter on Broadway in the musical Hairspray, and shared that he had never met a sweeter man. Michael McKean also worked with Peter on the stage, appearing alongside him in the off-Broadway play The True. Michael expressed that he knew Peter was ill, but that his knowledge still didn’t make it any easier for him to accept his beloved friend’s death.

Jackie Hoffman was someone that had appeared alongside Peter in a variety of formats, both on the screen and off of it. Besides appearing alongside Peter in an episode of Girls, he also appeared alongside him on the stage. Jackie paid his respects to Peter with a bit of humor, saying that he hoped his old friend could continue getting gigs up in heaven.

Peter Scolari was born on September 21, 1955, in New York. His father was abusive towards the young boy, and his mother was an alcoholic. The two fought often, but stayed together for their children. Peter got his first big acting gig in 1980, appearing on the sitcom Goodtime Girls. Though the sitcom was incredibly short-lived, it gave Peter a good foothold in the industry, and bigger roles would follow.

It was after Peter’s turn on Bosom Buddies that he was given his successful role on the series Newhart. Bosom Buddies was cancelled in 1982, and Peter joined the cast of Newhart in 1984. After Newhart came to an end, Peter would take on starring roles in two separate failed series, with those being Dweebs and Family Album. Nothing ever really stuck for the actor, despite his recurring work in the industry.

In the late 1990s, Peter was given a cozy gig portraying the character that Rick Moranis had popularized in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids on the film’s spin-off series. Peter played the role for three years, and went on to have consistent work on television into the new millennium. Besides the actor’s turn on the show Girls, he could also be seen on Fox’s aforementioned Gotham. On the show, Peter played the character of Gillian B. Loeb, who was a corrupt police commissioner working in the titular Gotham City.

When it came to Peter’s personal life, the actor was married four times. The actor’s first wife was Liza Kretzchmar, whom he married in 1981 and divorced in 1983. Subsequently, he married a woman by the name of Debra Steagal, and the two were together for a decade. In 1993, Peter married actress Cathy Trien, and the two divorced in 2004. Finally, after a long period of dating, Peter married his fourth and final wife in 2013. This wife was Tracy, and Peter was still married to her at the time of his passing. In addition to these four wives, Peter also had four children. These four children, named Cali, Keaton, Joseph, and Nicholas, survive Peter.


Although Peter Scolari never quite got the respect that he likely deserved in the entertainment industry, he still performed in many notable roles during his time. Comment down below to share what your favorite role of Peter’s is, or if you were saddened to learn about the actor’s death after a two year struggle with cancer. As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!

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