An actor who was a familiar presence on TV sitcoms from the 1960s into the 2000s — even though his name may not have been familiar to most viewers — has died. The AP reports that Jack Riley died today in Los Angeles. He was 80.
Riley was best known for playing Elliot Carlin on “The Bob Newhart Show” in the 1970s. He also did voice work, playing Stu Pickles on “Rugrats” and its spinoff “All Grown Up!,” and appeared in the Mel Brooks movies “History of the World: Part I,” ”High Anxiety” and “Spaceballs.”
Newhart released a statement following news of Riley’s death, saying Riley created one of TV’s “most endearing” sitcom characters in Carlin. Newhart also called Riley a “dear friend.”
Riley made appearances on a string of TV shows, including “Hogan’s Heroes,” “Seinfeld,” “Baywatch,” “Friends,” ”Night Court” and “Diff’rent Strokes.”
Here’s a clip from “The Bob Newhart Show” that includes Riley’s character, Carlin — he’s the one sitting on the couch throughout the clip, who doesn’t appear to be quite as drunk as the others …