Deceased actors who appeared on Will & Grace

by bcampos862 | created - 24 Sep 2015 | updated - 21 Apr 2018 | Public

1. Gregory Hines

Actor | Running Scared

Gregory Hines was born on February 14, 1946 in New York City, New York, USA as Gregory Oliver Hines. He was an actor, known for Running Scared (1986), History of the World: Part I (1981) and Waiting to Exhale (1995). He was married to Pamela Koslow and Patricia Panella. He died on August 9, 2003 in...

Died on August 9, 2003, he played Ben Doucette, Will's boss and Grace's boyfriend on season 2

2. Eileen Brennan

Actress | Clue

A supremely gifted, versatile player who could reach dramatic depths, as exemplified in her weary-eyed, good-hearted waitress in The Last Picture Show (1971), or comedy heights, as in her sadistic drill captain in Private Benjamin (1980), Eileen Brennan managed to transition from lovely Broadway ...

Died on July 28, 2013, she played Zandra, Jack's acting teacher

3. Sydney Pollack

Director | Tootsie

Sydney Pollack was an Academy Award-winning director, producer, actor, writer and public figure, who directed and produced over 40 films.

Sydney Irwin Pollack was born July 1, 1934 in Lafayette, Indiana, USA, to Rebecca (Miller), a homemaker, and David Pollack, a professional boxer turned pharmacist...

Died on May 26, 2008, he played George Truman, Will's father

4. Suzanne Pleshette

Actress | The Bob Newhart Show

Suzanne Pleshette achieved television immortality in her role as Bob Newhart's wife in the 1970s classic situation comedy, The Bob Newhart Show (1972). For her role as "Emily Hartley", wife of psychologist "Bob Hartley" (played by Bob Newhart), Pleshette was nominated for the Emmy Award twice, in ...

Died on January 19, 2008, she played Lois Whitley, Karen's mother

5. Wendie Jo Sperber

Actress | Back to the Future

Though she was known best for drawing laughs as whiny, excitable characters throughout her raucous film and TV career, actress/comedienne Wendie Jo Sperber showed a brave, compassionate and humane side in the last years of her life. The Los Angeles-born performer developed a driving passion for ...

Died on November 29, 2005, she played April, a maid who became Grace's muse on season 1

6. Kathryn Joosten

Actress | Desperate Housewives

Kathryn is best known for her portrayals of "Karen McCluskey" on Desperate Housewives (2004) on ABC and of "Mrs. Landingham", secretary to the President (Martin Sheen), on the critically-acclaimed NBC drama, The West Wing (1999). She has also recurred on Dharma & Greg (1997), and guest-starred ...

Died on June 2, 2012, she played Felicia on season 6

7. Franklin Cover

Actor | Wall Street

Franklin Cover was born on November 20, 1928 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA as Franklin Edward Cover. He was an actor, known for Wall Street (1987), The Stepford Wives (1975) and Almost Heroes (1998). He was married to Mary Bradford Stone. He died on February 5, 2006 in Englewood, New Jersey, USA.

Died on February 5, 2006, he played a Justice of the Peace who marries Jack and Rosario on season 1

8. Ellen Albertini Dow

Actress | The Wedding Singer

The multifaceted Ellen Albertini was a student of dance and piano at the age of five, and obtained a B.A. and M.A. in theater from Cornell University. She moved to New York, and studied and worked with the legendary likes of Hanya Holm, Martha Graham, Michael Shurtleff, Uta Hagen, Marcel Marceau, ...

Died on May 4, 2015, she played Sylvia Walker, Karen's mother-in-law

9. Roscoe Lee Browne

Actor | The Cowboys

He was a master class in cerebral eloquence and audience command...and although his dominant playing card in the realm of acting was quite serious and stately, nobody cut a more delightfully dry edge in sitcoms than this gentleman, whose calm yet blistering put-downs often eluded his lesser victims.


Died on April 11, 2007, he played Linus, a gay librarian whose library is going to be closed

10. Anne Meara

Actress | Night at the Museum

Comedienne Anna Meara, with her husband Jerry Stiller, were members of the improvisational company, the Compass Players, which later became The Second City Theater. They performed as a duo under the name "Stiller and Meara", and after some time, became regulars on Ed Sullivan's show, The Ed ...

Died on May 23, 2015, she played Mrs. Friedman, Grace's neighbour

11. Tom Poston

Actor | Christmas with the Kranks

Veteran comedic actor Tom Poston, he with the bugged-out eyes that commonly accentuated a vague look of bewilderment, was born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1921 and, by age nine, was appearing with an acrobatic troupe. He was attending Bethany College in West Virginia when World War II broke out and he ...

Died on April 30, 2007, he played Norman, a mattresses salesman

12. Chris Penn

Actor | Reservoir Dogs

Christopher Shannon Penn was born on October 10, 1965 in Los Angeles, California, the third son of actress Eileen Ryan (née Annucci) and director, actor, and writer Leo Penn. His siblings are musician Michael Penn and actor Sean Penn. His father was from a Lithuanian Jewish/Russian Jewish family, ...

Died on January 24, 2006, he played Rudy, a bodyguard who works for Barry Manilow and gets a date with Will

13. Steve Ryan

Actor | Arrested Development

Steve Ryan was born on June 19, 1947 in Manhattan, New York, USA as Lawrence Steven Ryan. He was an actor, known for Arrested Development (2003), Crime Story (1986) and JAG (1995). He was married to Wendy Sue Walton. He died on September 3, 2007 in Duarte, California, USA.

Died on September 3, 2007, he played a lieutenant who was a colleague of Vince, Will's boyfriend

14. Dirk Shafer

Writer | Circuit

Born in Carbondale, Illinois, (but raised in Oklahoma), Dirk first came to public attention when he appeared at age 27, in a photo-spread in Playgirl Magazine's "Holiday 1990" issue. This handsome, hairy-chested blond proved unusually popular with readers and when given a chance to select 1992's "...

Died on March 5, 2015, he played Blaze, a male dancer who got into Jack's ficticious audition

15. Kenneth Mars

Actor | Young Frankenstein

Kenneth Mars was born on April 4, 1935 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He was an actor, known for Young Frankenstein (1974), The Producers (1967) and The Little Mermaid (1989). He was married to Barbara Newborn. He died on February 12, 2011 in Granada Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA.

Died on February 12, 2011, he played Uncle Sid, Grace's uncle

16. John David Conti

Actor | Scrubs

John David Conti was born on January 30, 1939 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA as John J. Brogna. He was an actor, known for Scrubs (2001), NYPD Blue (1993) and Trust Me (2007). He died on February 16, 2009 in Palm Beach, Florida, USA.

Died on February 16, 2009, he played a man who is annoyed by having to watch a movie with his wife

17. Murray Gershenz

Actor | I Love You, Man

Murray Gershenz was born on May 12, 1922 in The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA as Morris Gershenzwit. He was an actor, known for I Love You, Man (2009), The Hangover (2009) and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013). He was married to Bobette Cohen. He died on August 28, 2013 in Los Angeles, ...

Died on August 28, 2013, he played Uncle Funny, Grace's uncle

18. Eugene Elman

Actor | Beverly Hills Cop III

Eugene Elman was born on March 16, 1926 in New York, New York, USA. He was an actor, known for Beverly Hills Cop III (1994), Kindergarten Cop (1990) and Hi, Mom! (1970). He died on January 5, 2014 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Died on January 5, 2014, he played Uncle Winnie, Grace's uncle

19. Shirley Prestia

Actress | Species

Shirley Prestia was born on August 18, 1947 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA as Shirley Rose Prestia. She was an actress and writer, known for Species (1995), Wag the Dog (1997) and What Women Want (2000). She died on October 6, 2011 in New Orleans.

Died on October 6, 2011, she played Mrs. Pressman on the Election episode

20. Bill Idelson

Writer | Get Smart

Bill Idelson was born on August 21, 1919 in Forest Park, Illinois, USA. He was a writer and actor, known for Get Smart (1965), Love, American Style (1969) and The Andy Griffith Show (1960). He was married to Seemah Wilder. He died on December 31, 2007 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Died on December 31, 2007, he played Ben on 1 episode

21. Ellen Idelson

Producer | Grosse Pointe

Ellen Idelson was born on June 13, 1961 in Los Angeles, California, USA. She was a producer and writer, known for Grosse Pointe (2000), Will & Grace (1998) and Dream On (1990). She died on September 19, 2003.

Died on September 19, 2003, she played Usherette on 1 episode and the voice of Will's secretary, Ellen on 2 episodes

22. Patricia Place

Actress | Wedding Crashers

Patricia Place was born on December 7, 1924 in Long Beach, California, USA. She was an actress, known for Wedding Crashers (2005), Outbreak (1995) and An American Crime (2007). She died on September 20, 2008 in North Hollywood, California.

Died on September 20, 2008, she played Myrtle on the Alice Doesn't Lisp Here Anymore episode

23. Tony Genaro

Actor | The Mask of Zorro

Character actor Anthony Genaro Acosta was born on October 15, 1941 in Gallup, New Mexico. The oldest sibling in a family of four boys and one girl, Genaro attended San Diego State University and worked as a licensed psychiatric technician at Patton State Hospital in Patton, California for several ...

Died on May 7, 2014, he played a man on the Antiques on the Road episode where Grace and Jack tried to sell some tchotchkes.

24. Cyndi Martino

Actress | Martin

Cyndi Martino was born on May 1, 1963 in Montgomery, Alabama, USA as Cynthia Marcella Martino. She was an actress, known for Martin (1992), Friends (1994) and Criminal Minds (2005). She died on October 28, 2015 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Died on October 28, 2015, she played a nurse on 1 episode

25. Earl Schuman

Actor | Taxi

Earl Schuman was born on February 24, 1916 in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, USA as Earl Bernard Schuman. He was an actor, known for Taxi (2004), Mr. Deeds (2002) and Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004). He was married to Edith (Edie) Bartnof and Beulah. He died on March 24, 2016 in Santa Clarita, ...

Died on March 24, 2016, he played Karen Walker's driver

26. Gene Wilder

Actor | Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Gene Wilder was born Jerome Silberman in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Jeanne (Baer) and William J. Silberman, who manufactured miniature whiskey and beer bottles. His father was a Russian Jewish immigrant, while his Illinois-born mother was of Russian Jewish descent.

Wilder caught his first big break ...

Died on August 29, 2016, he played Mr. Stein, Will's boss and Karen's lover

27. Debbie Reynolds

Actress | Singin' in the Rain

Debbie Reynolds was born Mary Frances Reynolds in El Paso, Texas, the second child of Maxine N. (Harmon) and Raymond Francis Reynolds, a carpenter for the Southern Pacific Railroad. Her film career began at MGM after she won a beauty contest at age 16 impersonating Betty Hutton. Reynolds wasn't a ...

Died on December 28, 2016, she played Bobbie Adler, Grace's mom on 10 episodes

28. Miguel Ferrer

Actor | Traffic

Miguel Ferrer was born on February 7, 1955 in Santa Monica, California, USA as Miguel José Ferrer. He was an actor, known for Traffic (2000), Crossing Jordan (2001) and Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993). He was married to Lori Weintraub and Leilani Sarelle. He died on January 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, ...

Died on January 19, 2017, he played Nathan Berry, Grace's client who insists on having a date with Will

29. Robert Michael Morris

Actor | The Comeback

Robert Michael Morris' Hollywood career began in just 2005. His most famous role is playing Mickey in the short-lived but critically acclaimed 'The Comeback' with Lisa Kudrow. He also played Will Arnett's nanny on Fox's 'Running Wilde.' With memorable guests spots on 'Will & Grace,' 'Arrested ...

Died on May 30, 2017, he played Tommy, an elderly gay man who needed Jack's help to come out of the closet to his family

30. Hansford Rowe

Actor | Dante's Peak

Hansford Rowe was born on May 12, 1924 in Richmond, Virginia, USA. He was an actor, known for Dante's Peak (1997), V: The Final Battle (1984) and Three Days of the Condor (1975). He was married to Mira and Jan Morgan. He died on September 5, 2017 in Newhall, Santa Clarita, California, USA.

Died on September 5, 2017, he played a minister on Stanley Walker's funeral where Karen meets Lorraine Finster, Stan's mistress

31. Clifford David

Actor | Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

Clifford David was born on June 30, 1928 in Toledo, Ohio, USA. He was an actor and director, known for Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989), Signs (2002) and Kinsey (2004). He died on November 30, 2017 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Died on November 30, 2017, he played a hotel manager in the hotel where Karen is looking for Lorraine Finster and meets Lyle Finster, Lorraine's father.

32. Connie Sawyer

Actress | Dumb and Dumber

Connie Sawyer was born on November 27, 1912 in Pueblo, Colorado, USA as Rosie Cohen. She was an actress, known for Dumb and Dumber (1994), Pineapple Express (2008) and Out of Sight (1998). She was married to Marshall Schacker. She died on January 21, 2018 in Woodland Hills, California, USA.

Died on January 21, 2018, she played an old woman on the Antiques on the Road episode where Grace and Jack tried to sell some tchotchkes.

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