Bruce Kirby, Character Actor in ‘Columbo’ and ‘L.A. Law,’ Dies at 95

Antonio Ferme
·2-min read

Bruce Kirby, a character actor best known for his roles in “Columbo” and “Stand by Me,” died in Los Angeles on Sunday. He was 95.

Kirby’s son, John Kirby, announced the news on Facebook on Monday.

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“Thank you Dad for everything you taught me about acting and how to have such a strong work ethic while sharing your love for the arts and the craft of it all,” John wrote. “I will miss you & love you always. I’m glad you’re up there with Bruno and so many of our loved ones.”

Kirby, born Bruno Giovanni Quidaciolu, began his career at the Actor’s Studio in New York and studied under the famed acting coach Lee Strasberg. He debuted on stage in the 1950s and then launched a steady career in television primarily playing smaller roles as unimposing law enforcement figures.

He played the gullible Sergeant George Kramer from the detective series “Columbo.” Kramer only saw the obvious details of a case, often falling for the murderer’s phony alibi. From 1973-1995, Kirby appeared in nine episodes of the show.

Kirby made many other television appearances in shows like “I Dream of Jeannie,” “Car 54, Where Are You?,” “Bonanza” and “M*A*S*H.” From 1973-1976, he played Sgt. Al Vine in the crime drama television series “Kojak,” and appeared in 13 episodes of the sitcom “Holmes and Yoyo” as Capt. Harry Sedford. He also played District Attorney Bruce Rogoff in the Emmy Award-winning legal drama “L.A. Law.” He retired from acting in 2009.

His son, Bruno Kirby, was an actor who starred in films such as “The Godfather: Part II,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “Good Morning, Vietnam” and “The Basketball Diaries.” He died from leukemia in August 2006 at age 57.

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