Lena Dunham Remembers ‘Girls’ Co-Star Peter Scolari: “I Couldn’t Have Been Raised Up By A Better TV Papa” – Update

Everyone who knew him will miss him terribly. About a 100 years ago, while back stage at a taping of The Goodtime Girls, an ABC Paramount television show in which Peter Scolari guest starred in small role, I did something I’d never done, namely, approach an actor and handed him my business card, telling him that should he ever need representation, etc. When he told me the plot, I thought naturally about Some Like It Hot and asked are you Jack Lemmon or Tony Curtis? And as nice and talented and sweet as Lemmon was, so was Peter. A while later he called, saying he’d landed a starring role in a show called Bosom Buddies, with an unknown – Tom Hanks was his name – and would I represent him. And that wonderful to be around. He laughed, and said, Jack Lemmon. His Newhart character, for me, remains a classic, and lifted that show’s game, as everyone said at the time. I loved working with him during that phase of his early career and knew he’d endure, as he was that gifted.
"The shyest extrovert, the most dramatic comedian, the most humble icon," writes Dunham of (and to) Scolari, who died today at age 66 of cancer. "You had lived enough life to know that a TV show was just a TV show, but also to appreciate just what it meant to be allowed to play pretend for a living – and you never let us forget that this job was a privilege.

Peter Scolari: His Career In Photos
I was so blessed to get to work with him!" He will be greatly missed. Betty Buckley called Scolari "the sweetest, loveliest person.
You bragged nonstop about your kids, you had the best stories – like when you did Circus of the Stars and 'that’s when I learned to walk a tightrope, there’s not much to it' – and when we told you that you would be coming out of the closet on the show you said 'thank you, you can trust me with this.' Becky Ann [Baker] and I loved every second of playing your family and I couldn’t have been raised up by a better TV 'papa.' Thank you, Scolari, for every chat between set ups, every hug onscreen and off and every 'Oh, Jeez.' We will miss you so much." She continues, "I remember when you came back from doing a production of the Music Man somewhere – the theater had basically been a barn, there had been no WiFi and you had no understudy- and you were as grateful and delighted as you were when you were nominated for an Emmy.

In a statement to Deadline, Tony Angellotti, Scolari's first publicist, wrote:
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Here is a sample of the online tributes to Scolari. Deadline will update this post as additional remembrances arrive…
Harvey Fierstein, who co-starred with Scolari on Broadway in Hairspray, noting, "There wasn't a sweeter man on the planet."

Refresh for updates… Lena Dunham, who created and starred in the HBO series – Girls – that won Peter Scolari an Emmy Award – remembered her co-star in a poignant address on Instagram today, writing, in part, "I couldn’t have been raised up by a better TV papa.”


Jackie Hoffman, who appeared both onstage and screen with Scolari – including an episode of HBO's Girls – remembers him as "a sweet funny cool dude." She adds, "I hope you get gigs wherever you are."
Michael McKean, who co-starred with Scolari in the Off Broadway play The True, wrote that even though he knew Scolari was ill, "doesn't make it any easier."

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