Murphy Brown, Cheers actor Jay Thomas dies at 69

Jay Thomas.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Comic actor Jay Thomas, who won two Emmys in the early 1990s for his work on Murphy Brown, died Thursday in Santa Barbara, California, following a battle with cancer. He was 69.

His agent Don Buchwald confirmed Thomas' death to the New York Daily News, saying his wife, Sally, and sons Sam, Jake, and J.T. were by his side when he died. "Jay was one of a kind, never at a loss for words, and filled with so much fun and wonderfully whacky thoughts and behavior," Buchwald said.

From 1989 to 1998, Thomas played Jerry Gold on Murphy Brown, and was Rhea Perlman's TV husband on Cheers from 1987 to 1989. He had his own show, Love and War, from 1992 to 1995, recently starred in a recurring role on Ray Donovan, and appeared every Christmas on The Late Show with David Letterman, to share a story about The Lone Ranger's Clayton Moore. Thomas also worked in radio, once having shows in New York and Los Angeles, and most recently, had a daily program on SiriusXM.

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