Murder, She Wrote's Ron Masak, Who Played Sheriff Mort Metzger, Dead at 86

Ron Masak, Murder She Wrote

Ron Masak, best known to TV audiences for his recurring role as Cabot Cove Sheriff Mort Metzger on the long-running CBS drama Murder, She Wrote, died Thursday at the age of 86.

Masak’s granddaughter told The Hollywood Reporter that the actor died of natural causes at a hospital in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

His TV career began in the 1960s, with roles on The Twilight Zone (in the episode “The Purple Testament”), The Monkees, The Flying Nun and Get Smart. In the 1970s, he added bits on Bewitched, Ironside and Mission: Impossible to his resume, before landing a lead role on the ABC sitcom Love Thy Neighbor.  After that, he guested on shows such as Police Story, Magnum P.I. and Webster, before booking the first of multiple roles on Murder, She Wrote in 1985; he would not begin his run as Metzger until Season 5, however, when he succeeded Tom Bosley’s Amos Tupper as town sheriff.

Metzger was known for driving a red, 1976 Cadillac Eldorado convertible, instead of a traditional police car. The character frequently mentioned a wife, Adele, who never appeared on screen.

Masak’s real-life daughter Kathryn guest-starred in a handful of Murder, She Wrote episodes, most notably as Deputy Lynn Olsen in the third-to-last episode of the procedural’s 12-year run.

His passing comes less than two weeks after the world bid adieu to Murder, She Wrote star Angela Lansbury. The stage and screen legend, who earned four Golden Globes for her work as crime-busting mystery novelist Jessica Fletcher, died on Oct. 11 — just five days shy of her 97th birthday.

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