Wonderful, Highly Recognizable Character Actor Who Was in Movies and Scores of TV Shows, From ‘The West Wing’ to ‘The Golden Girls’ and ‘Frasier,’ Dies at 86

Apr 4, 2013  •  Post A Comment

He played a Supreme Court justice on "The West Wing," and tried to make Barbarella die of pleasure. He memorably played a minister on "Cheers" who could only marry Woody and his girlfriend if he was drunk.

Milo O’Shea, who was nominated for two Tony Awards but never an Emmy or an Oscar, has died at age 86, The New York Times reports. The cause was complications from Alzheimer’s disease.

The Times describes O’Shea as "an Irish character actor — recognizable by his black bushy eyebrows, tumble of white hair and impish smile."

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O’Shea’s first Tony nomination came in 1968. According to The Times, the play was called "Staircase." In the play O’Shea "and Eli Wallach played gay, middle-aged hairdressers in a relationship not much different from many troubled heterosexual marriages. The play, while not commercially successful, came to be regarded as one of the first serious depictions of homosexuality on Broadway."

The Times adds, "In 1981, on Broadway, [O’Shea] played a duplicitous, charming, Mercedes-driving priest in ‘Mass Appeal,’ receiving his second Tony nomination."

In an episode of "Frasier" he famously played a couples therapist helping Frasier and his brother.

The Times reports that O’Shea "is survived by his wife, Kitty Sullivan; his sons, Colm and Steven; and three grandchildren."

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