Friends Star Ron Leibman Dies After Battle With Pneumonia
The actor Ron Leibman has died, aged 82, after a battle with pneumonia.
Leibman, known for playing Rachel Green's dad in Friends, had a long career in show business starting in the 1950s. His agent at Abrams Artists Agency confirmed his passing.
They said in a statement to The Wrap: "We at Abrams Artists Agency are saddened to hear the news of Ron's passing.
"Ron was an incredibly talented actor with a distinguished career in film, TV and theatre. Our thoughts go out to his wife, Jessica, and his family."
Ron played short-tempered Dr Leonard Green on the popular US sitcom, which starred Jennifer Aniston (as his character's daughter, Rachel Green) as well as Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer and Matthew Perry.
Ron won a Tony Award in 1993, and the award's official Twitter account has posted: "So sad to hear that Ron Leibman has passed away. The stage, film, and TV star won a Tony Award as Best Actor in a Play for creating the role of Roy Cohn in Angels in America. Rest in peace."
So many of the best memories of my career, have Ron Leibman in them. Thank you, Ron. For my being my champion. Rest, my friend.
- Sally Field (@sally_field) December 7, 2019
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During an interview with AV Club, he said: "The thing I can say about that is I had never seen the show when they asked me to do it. I'm not a big television-watcher.
"It sounded stupid to me, so I turned it down. And my daughter, then, who was of that age, said, 'No, you have to do it, you have to do it! I love that show, and I want to meet those kids.'
"I said, 'All right. I'll do it. I'll do it once, but that's all I'm doing.' So I did, and had a very nice time, and they asked me back, and my daughter did get to meet those kids, so I was a big hero in the house.
"It's amazing, the power of the tube. I've done all this body of work, and they say, 'Oh yes, Rachel's father.' I go, 'Give me a break.'"
He added: "He was nasty, which made it more fun. Nice guys are boring. I don't mean in real life. As an actor, those characters are boring. I loved that he was difficult, particularly to the Ross character. Most of my stuff was with Jennifer [Aniston] and David [Schwimmer], which was terrific, because I really like them both."
Featured Image Credit: Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions