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Harvey Atkin, ‘Cagney & Lacey’ and ‘Meatballs’ Actor, Dies at 74

Variety logo Variety 7/18/2017 Rebecca Rubin
© Provided by Variety

Canadian actor Harvey Atkin, best known for his roles in “Meatballs” and “Cagney & Lacey,” died early Tuesday morning in Toronto after a battle with cancer, a rep for Atkin confirmed to Variety. He was 74.

The mustachioed actor, remembered for his signature large-framed glasses, was born in Toronto. Atkin’s breakout performance was as Camp North Star camp director Morty Melnick in Ivan Reitman’s 1979 comedy “Meatballs,” where he worked alongside Bill Murray, Kate Lynch, and Chris Makepeace. He was also a regular on the 1980s TV detective drama “Cagney & Lacey” as staff sergeant captain Ronald Coleman, as well as on NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” as Judge Ridenour. Atkin’s long list of guest-starring credits in television and film include “Beetlejuice,” “Goosebumps,” “Silver Streak,” and “Atlantic City.”

In addition to his on-screen roles, the actor voiced characters in a number of animated television shows, including several Super Mario Bros. series, “Jacob Two-Two,” and “The Ripping Friends.” Atkin also lent his voice to radio and TV commercials, including ads for Leon’s Furniture in Canada.

Atkin is survived by his wife Celia, daughter Lisa, son Danny, three sisters, and five grandchildren.

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