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Richard Roat, Seinfeld and Friends Actor, Dies at 89

The character actor also appeared in Dallas, Melrose Place, and Blossom.
  • Richard Roat in a 1996 episode of Seinfeld (Photo: Netflix)
    Richard Roat in a 1996 episode of Seinfeld (Photo: Netflix)

    Richard Roat, a veteran actor who appeared in Seinfeld and Friends, has died at the age of 89.

    Roat "passed away suddenly" on Friday, August 5 in Orange County, California, his family shared in an obituary. No additional details were made available.

    Born in 1933 in Hartford, Connecticut, Roat began his acting career in the 1960s, beginning with a regular role on NBC soap The Doctors. He continued to book roles throughout the 1970s, appearing in a wide array of film and TV projects, including Hawaii Five-O, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Columbo, and Dallas.

    A respected character actor, Roat landed multi-episode roles in Dynasty, Hill Street Blues, and Days of Our Lives throughout the 1980s.

    His most remembered work came the following decade, when he played the Seinfeld doctor who found Elaine to be a "difficult patient" (Season 8, Episode 5, "The Package"). Roat also appeared in a 2000 episode of Friends (Season 6, Episode 18, "The One Where Ross Dates a Student"), playing a professor who discovers Ross is dating a college student.

    Roat's family described him as "the most supportive friend a person in the entertainment industry could ever have" and "a true Renaissance Man" who loved music, literature, and the Los Angeles Angels.

    "Richard will be missed by family, friends, colleagues, and clients," the obituary continues. "He will be thought of often, with warm memories and a quiet chuckle for all the good times he brought to our lives."

    Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.

    TOPICS: Richard Roat, Friends, Seinfeld, Obits