The sitcom actor's rep confirmed the news on Saturday

By Blake Bakkila
November 29, 2016 07:55 AM

Ron Glass, a famed actor best known for his role as Ron Harris in the mid-’70s hit sitcom Barney Miller, died late Friday of respiratory failure, a rep for the actor confirmed to EW.

The Evansville, Indiana, native was also well-known for his role as Shepherd Derrial Book in the show Firefly. But before entertaining viewers on the small screen, Glass attended the University of Evansville, where he studied drama.

His first roles were cameos on shows including Sanford and Son, Hawaii Five-O and All in the Family. But he scored his breakout role as aspiring writer Ron Harris in Barney Miller in 1975. In 1982, he earned an Emmy nomination for his supporting role.

Alan Tudyk, who costarred with Glass in the 2002 drama series Firefly, took to Twitter to share his grief.

“Ron Glass was one of the greatest actors to work with. His laugh was beyond infectious and his generosity was ever present. #ripronglass,” he wrote in his initial tweet.

In another, he wrote, “Ron Glass was also a sassy smart ass and I prize that very much. A leaf on the wind. #ripronglass.”

Glass went on to star in other shows, including The New Odd Couple, along with guest appearances in The Twilight Zone and Family Matters, among others.

And while Firefly had a short run, it became a cult favorite and Glass later reprised his role for the sequel, the 2005 film Serenity.