Lifestyle & Human Interest

Peter Scolari, Famous Tom Hanks Co-Star, Passes Away at 66


Emmy-winning actor Peter Scolari, who most notably starred alongside Tom Hanks in the 1980 sitcom “Bosom Buddies,” died Friday morning at the age of 66.

His death comes after a two-year-long battle with cancer, according to Deadline.

Scolari’s career was full of accomplishments, including an Emmy-winning role on HBO’s “Girls” as the father of Lena Dunham’s character and a recurring role on “Newhart.”

He also starred on stage in productions such as “Hairspray,” “Wicked” and “Lucky Guy.”

In 2014, he talked openly about his struggles with alcoholism and drug use on OWN’s “Where Are They Now.”

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“I became successful in television in my mid-20s and went on to celebrate in that throughout the early years of my having my oldest children,” he said. “There were drugs and alcohol throughout all of that time.”

“I didn’t get sober until my late 40s,” he added. “So there were many, many, many years where the demon ruled me.”

Scolari’s death was announced by Ellen Lubin Sanitsky at Wright Entertainment, according to Deadline.

Several of his colleagues and friends have also paid tribute to the actor on social media.

“Sad to see the news that Peter Scolari lost his battle with cancer,” Harvey Fierstein wrote on Twitter. “There wasn’t a sweeter man on the planet. We performed together in HAIRSPRAY for a time and he was always a total delight. Farewell, dear Peter.”

Robert King, a writer, spoke to Scolari’s humor on set.

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“Peter Scolari, who died today, was one of the funniest—sneakily funny—actors we’ve worked with,” King wrote. “He always took a nothing scene and found different ways to twist it, and throw in odd pauses that made it jump. I will try to collect my thoughts more. He was just wonderful.”

Scolari is survived by his wife and four children.

Our prayers go out for his family and those who knew him.

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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