Peter Scolari Remembered: Bob Newhart, Lena Dunham & More Pay Tribute

Bob Newhart and Peter Scolari on Newhart
CBS / Courtesy Everett Collection

Best known for his starring role alongside Tom Hanks in the 1980s series Bosom Buddies, television and film actor Peter Scolari has passed away at the age of 66 after a two-year battle with cancer.

Having most recently appeared on CBS’ Evil, Scolari had roles in several well-known series, including Newhart and Gotham, and he won an Emmy for his role as Lena Dunham’s father in Girls. After news broke of his passing on Friday, October 22, several of the longtime TV star’s former castmates and colleagues have taken to social media to pay tribute.

Newhart co-star Bob Newhart expressed his shock over the passing of his friend in a statement, saying, “I knew that Peter was sick, but his death still comes as a great shock. We were friends and colleagues for over 40 years. Julia and Peter, as a vacuous couple (Michael and Stephanie), were an essential part of the success of “Newhart.” In life, he was a fantastic person, and it was a joy to work together. He will be sorely missed and his passing at 66 is much too early.”

Evil co-showrunner Robert King posted a series of emotional tweets, calling Scolari “one of the funniest —sneakily funny—actors” he’s worked with, before praising the actor’s turn as Bishop Thomas Marx. He called him “a mensch, a hard worker, a thoughtful actor, always a pleasure on a set.”

Scolari’s Hairspray co-star Harvey Fierstein also bid farewell to his former stage partner, writing, “There wasn’t a sweeter man on the planet.”

In a touching Instagram tribute, Lena Dunham called her Girls co-star “the shyest extrovert, the most dramatic comedian, the most humble icon.” Recalling many special memories the two shared over the years, she said goodbye to her onscreen “papa,” stating, “Thank you, Scolari, for every chat between set ups, every hug onscreen and off and every ‘Oh, Jeez.’ We will miss you so much.”


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More colleagues of Scolari’s also weighed in on social media, from Julia Duffy and Jackie Hoffman to Jane Lynch and Matt Walton. Read on below for some sweet remembrances of the veteran actor.

Other stars, including Jane Lynch, Matt Walton, David Kaufman, David Pressman, and more shared their thoughts on the actor’s tragic passing on Twitter, grieving over the loss of an amazing talent.