He Was One of Those Familiar Faces on TV and in the Movies Whom Most People Never Knew by Name — Character Actor Cliff Osmond Dead at 75

Dec 28, 2012  •  Post A Comment

Character actor Cliff Osmond, who appeared in many films and TV shows and who estimated that he taught more than 10,000 actors, has died, reports The New York Times. Osmond, 75, died Dec. 22 of pancreatic cancer.

Osmond appeared in films including four Billy Wilder comedies, playing the private investigator Purkey in "The Fortune Cookie" (1966), which was the first movie to star Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau together, the story notes.

He appeared on TV more than 100 times, acting in shows including "Gunsmoke" and a 1962 "Twilight Zone" episode called "The Gift."

Osmond had a career as an acting teacher, with his students including Armand Assante and Carlos Alazraqui, the story notes.

He also appeared in Wilder’s films “Irma La Douce” (1963), “Kiss Me, Stupid” (1964) and “The Front Page” (1974). His other TV credits included “All in the Family,” “The Bob Newhart Show” and “Kojak.”


Cliff Osmond



  1. He will be missed. He was an excellent actor. I remember him. RIP.

  2. One of the best/my favorite character actors of all time. But with his death along with those of Charles Durning & Jack Klugman as well…seems like the pool is now incredibly shallow!

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