Jay Thomas – known for his performances on series like Cheers and Murphy Brown, as well as his iconic Late Night story about The Lone Ranger – died at 69

By Lindsay Kimble
August 24, 2017 04:44 PM

Actor, comedian and radio host Jay Thomas has died at age 69 following a battle with cancer — a loss that has prompted many of Hollywood’s biggest names to fondly remember the late Cheers and Murphy Brown star.

Wrote Parks and Recreation alum Rob Lowe on Twitter Thursday, “Had the pleasure of casting and directing Jay Thomas many years ago. He was fantastic, an underrated dramatic actor. And a great guy.”

Echoed actor Tom Arnold, “I love Jay Thomas. Many unscripted inappropriate laughs everytime we worked together. My thoughts today are with his beloved family. #RIP.”

“I worked with Jay Thomas on Joan of Arcadia and he was a great guy and good actor,” wrote Criminal Minds star Joe Mantegna. “My thoughts and prayers are with his family today. RIP.”

“RIP Jay Thomas. A funny man. A good man,” wrote actor Dean Cain.

Thomas played Jerry Gold on Murphy Brown and also starred in Morky & Mindy. Most recently, he held a reoccurring role on Ray Donovan. He also hosted The Jay Thomas Show on SiriusXM.

CHEERS, Jay Thomas, Rhea Perlman, 1982-93, episode
Credit: Everett

He is survived by his wife Sally, and sons Sam, Jake, and country music songwriter J.T. Harding.