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Murder, She Wrote Star Ron Masak Dies at 86

The character actor also appeared in shows like Police Story and Bewitched.
  • Angela Lansbury and Ron Masak in Murder, She Wrote. (Photo: Everett Collection)
    Angela Lansbury and Ron Masak in Murder, She Wrote. (Photo: Everett Collection)

    Ron Masak, a character actor best known for portraying Sheriff Mort Metzger in Murder, She Wrote, has passed away. He was 86.

    Masak starred alongside the recently deceased Angela Lansbury in the last eight seasons of Murder, She Wrote, and had a prolific television career. He appeared in series like Police StoryBewitchedI Dream of JeannieGet Smart, The Mary Tyler Moore ShowMagnum P.I.The Rockford FilesColumbo, and Cold Case

    Born in Chicago in 1936, Masak always had a knack for entertaining those around him. "I was the class clown, I was the showoff in school," he shared in a 2011 interview. “I once had a teacher tell me if she could have stopped laughing at me, she would have failed me."

    The actor got his start in an episode of The Twilight Zone in 1960 and later made his big-screen debut in Ice Station Zebra starring opposite Rock Hudson and Ernest Borgnine in 1968. Over the course of his six-decade career, he was also dubbed "The King of Commercials", as he lent his voice to ads for Vlasic, Zenith, Rice-a-Roni, Ford, Glad, and more. 

    Jade Budowski is a freelance writer with a knack for ruining punchlines and harboring dad-aged celebrity crushes. She was previously a reporter/producer at Decider and is a member of the Television Critics Association. Follow her on Twitter: @jadebudowski.

    TOPICS: Ron Masak, Murder, She Wrote, Obits