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Comic actor Jay Thomas is dead at 69

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 8/24/2017 Brian Niemietz
Jay Thomas, who starred on "Cheers," has passed away. - Michael Loccisano © New York Daily News/Michael Loccisano Jay Thomas, who starred on "Cheers," has passed away. - Michael Loccisano

“Ray Donovan” star Jay Thomas has lost his battle with cancer. He was 69.

The sad news comes from his agent and longtime friend Don Buchwald.

“Jay was one of a kind, never at a loss for words and filled with so much fun and wonderfully whacky thoughts and behavior,” wrote Buchwald, who repped Thomas for 35 years. Thomas’ wife Sally and his sons Sam, Jake and J.T. were by his side at his Santa Barbara, California home when he passed.

Thomas was perhaps best known for playing Jerry Gold on “Murphy Brown” from 1989-1998. He also played Rhea Perlman’s TV husband Eddie LeBec on “Cheers” from 1987-1989 before his character was run over by a Zamboni. Thomas starred on the hit sitcom "Love & War" from 1992-1995. Jay Thomas on 'Cheers' © (SPIKE NANNARELLO/CBS) Jay Thomas on 'Cheers'

Talk show fans remember Thomas from his holiday visits on “Late Night with David Letterman” where he and the host would try and knock a meatball off the top of a Christmas tree by throwing footballs.During that annual visit, Thomas would always tell what became known as “The Lone Ranger” story in which he had a bizarre encounter with actor Clayton Moore, who played the masked cowboy in the classic western series. Thomas’ “Late Night” Christmas tradition started in 1998 and ended in 2014, shortly before Letterman retired.

Thomas also hosted a popular radio show on SiriusXM.

With Brian Niemietz

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