Bill Macy, best known to TV audiences for playing Walter to Bea Arthur’s force-of-nature Maude, died on Thursday night at age 97.
His manager, Matt Beckoff, shared the news on Facebook, hailing Macy as “a spitfire right up to the end.” A cause of death has not been disclosed.
Macy’s career in large part kicked off in 1972 with CBS’ Maude, which was a spinoff of All in the Family (Arthur’s character was introduced as a cousin of Edith Bunker). Famously, the sitcom occasionally tackled hot topics such as abortion, alcoholism and domestic violence (Walter once impulsively struck Maude when he couldn’t give up the drink; afterwards, he suffered a breakdown).
On the heels of Maude‘s six-season run, Macy co-starred in the big screen comedy The Jerk, where he helped Steve Martin’s title character unleash the Opti-Grab upon the world.
Macy’s TV credits also included but by no means were limited to St. Elsewhere, L.A. Law, the NBC comedy Nothing in Common, Seinfeld, Jack & Jill and, most recently, a 2010 episode of TNT’s Hawthorne.