Ron Glass, who played stylish and sassy NYPD detective/aspiring author Ron Harris on ABC’s long-running sitcom Barney Miller, died on Friday of respiratory failure, a spokesperson for the veteran actor has confirmed for TVLine. He was 71.
In addition to his role on the Emmy-winning workplace comedy, Glass portrayed the spiritual Shepherd Book on Fox’s short-lived sci-fi drama Firefly (as well as its big-screen follow-up, Serenity). His lengthy resume also included fellow one-and-done programs including The New Odd Couple (in the Felix Unger role), Rhythm & Blues, Mr. Rhodes and Teen Angel, as well as guest appearances on All in the Family, Sanford and Son, The Streets of San Francisco, Amen and Friends. In recent years, he appeared in episodes of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Major Crimes and CSI.
Glass’ prolific career also included voiceover work, having been featured on Rugrats (and its spinoff All Grown Up!), Superman, Aladdin and The Proud Family.
Glass’ Barney Miller castmate Abe Vigoda died earlier this year, at age 94.
Firefly creator Joss Whedon, and costars Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, Alan Tudyk, Jewel Staite and Sean Maher have since paid tribute on social media.
This is me acting like an idiot just so I could hear Ron Glass laugh. He was the kind of person that remembered the details, that asked about your family's well-being. He hugged hard and often. He would laugh till he cried at a sick joke and top it with a worse one. He loved a Grey Goose crantini and spilled one on my white jeans in the heat of telling a story, and then just said, "Girl, those were ugly pants anyway." I adored him. Everybody did. I love you, Ron. Can't wait to see you again. "I don't care what you believe. Just believe it."