Ian Abercrombie: 'Seinfeld' Actor Dies From Kidney Failure, Lymphoma, at 77
By IBTimes Staff Reporter | January 31, 2012 8:52 AM EST
Ian Abercrombie, who played Elaine's boss Mr. Pitt on 'Seinfeld' from 1994 to 1998, died Thursday at the age of 77. He had recently been diagnosed with lymphoma, but the Los Angeles Cedars-Sinai Medical Center says Abercrombie died from complications of kidney failure.
On Seinfeld, Abercrombie played one of the most-beloved side characters on the show, starring opposite Julia Louis-Dreyfus' character Elaine Benes for seven episodes. Even though the actor starred in more than 180 movies and TV shows in his lifetime, Abercrombie said Seinfeld changed his life.
"Incredibly so," Abercrombie said. "I mean, I have been around as an actor for 40-odd years, and this show knocked me out of the ballpark."
In the show, Abercrombie's wealthy businessman character Mr. Pitt had a fair share of quirks. He ate Snickers bars with a knife and fork, and he was responsible for one of the show's big laughs, when ink from his favorite 3-D painting, through a series of mishaps, led Mr. Pitt to accidentally give a riveting speech looking like Adolf Hitler.
"I was a pain in the neck. I was a hypochondriac. I was many things, and I just made her life so miserable," Abercrombie said. "She wouldn't take the salt off my pretzels, you know. She brought me white socks... she did a lot of things for me, but she could never do it right."
Abercrombie was born in town of Grays in Essex, England, on Sept. 11, 1934. During the World War II years, he performed as a dancer in London, Scotland, Ireland and Holland, until moving to the U.S. at 17. Starting in 1955, Abertcrombie was involved in various regional and off-Broadway theatre shows, including a number of Shakespeare revues.
In 1957, Abercrombie was drafted by the U.S. Army and stationed in Germany as part of the "Special Services" team, where he directed two one-act plays collectively called "Separate Tables." When he returned to California after the war, Abercrombie began a long career in film and TV, winning several awards for his roles in "Sweet Prince" and "A Doll's House."
In film, Abercrombie had roles in popular films such as "Wild Wild West," "The Lost World: Jurassic Park," "Rango," and the 1992 cult horror film "Army of Darkness." Beyond Seinfeld, Abercrombie's many TV roles included Emperor Palpatine in the "Star Wars: Clone Wars," both the film and TV series and he just completed his voice work on "Green Lantern: The Animated Series," just before his death.
Abercrombie was a founding member and former board member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) in Los Angeles. He is survived by his brothers Douglas, Donald and Alex, and his wife, Gladys.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Join the Conversation
- Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt Photographed Fighting Before ‘Unbroken’ Sydney Premiere – Report [VIDEO]
- 'NCIS Los Angeles' Season 6 Recap: Episode 9 'Traitor' Aired On Nov. 24, 2014, The Hunt For The ‘NCIS LA’ Mole Is Over [WATCH VIDEOS]
- ‘The Young And The Restless’ (Y&R) Nov. 26 Spoilers: Victoria Finds Who The Father Of Her Child Is And Jack And Phyllis Rekindle Romance
- Kate Middleton Cries As She Listens To A Moving Tale Of A Mother Who Lost Her Infant Daughter
- ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Season7, Episode 12 Spoilers: Thanksgiving Break, SAMCRO Returns In December [VIDEO]
- Russia Is Ready for Shooting War, Will Likely Win Looming Nuclear Showdown with U.S. – Report
- Black Friday And Cyber Monday Sale 2014: AT&T's Cricket Wireless Offers Discounts On Lumia 1320, Galaxy S5, S4 And HTC Desire 510
- Microsoft Band Runs Out Of Stock, But Offers $10 Gift Voucher To Wait-Listed Customers
- ISIS Kidnaps Iraqi Defence Minister’s Family, Executes Female Parliament Candidates
- '$2,000 For Sex'—Pleads Unlucky-in-Love Guy On OKCupid
- Google Joins Forces with GoPro Inc with New Google Maps Focusing on Destination
- Target Early Black Friday 2014 Sale Ad Released For Nov. 26, 2014 Includes Deals On Toys, HDTVs And Video Games Such As ‘FIFA 15’ And ‘NHL 15’ For Xbox 360 [WATCH VIDEO]