- The Washington Times - Friday, October 22, 2021

Peter Scolari, whose comic timing won legions of fans and a lifelong friendship with “Bosom Buddies” co-star Tom Hanks, died Friday of cancer at age 66 following a two-year fight against the disease. His agent, Ellen Lubin Sanitsky at Wright Entertainment, disclosed his death, according to numerous media reports.

“To watch Peter Scolari’s dailies was a thrill because he always found new ways to go,” Robert King, co-creator and head writer of “Evil,” Mr. Scolari’s last series, said on Twitter. “He molded the highs and lows of a scene, but always looking for the comic spin, and he’d massage a phrase with each take until he could hear the laughter in his head. This is a real loss.”

Mr. Scolari had several memorable roles over his career, including an Emmy-winning turn on “Girls,” the HBO series created by and starring Lena Dunham. He played Ms. Dunham’s character’s father who eventually came out as gay, winning television’s top honor for the role in 2016.

He had three previous Emmy nominations for “Newhart,” the six-year-long CBS sitcom featuring the laconic Bob Newhart as an innkeeper with a local television show Mr. Scolari’s character produced. 

But it was “Bosom Buddies,” perhaps, which first established Mr. Scolari’s reputation. The show featured Mr. Hanks and Mr. Scolari as cross-dressing men who donned female attire to score a low-rent apartment in a women’s-only hotel. The show only lasted on ABC for two seasons, but launched each actor into decades-long careers.



Mr. Hanks never forgot his onetime acting partner. In 1996, Mr. Hanks cast Mr. Scolari as a TV news anchor in the period comedy “That Thing You Do!”

Mr. Scolari also had his dramatic roles. Along with “Evil,” which airs on CBS, he had roles on “The West Wing,” “The Good Fight,” “ER,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Gotham,” and “Ally McBeal.”

Survivors include his wife Shayne, as well as children Nicholas, Joseph, Keaton and Cali, according to industry publication Deadline.com. 

Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled the first name of Lena Dunham. 

• Mark A. Kellner can be reached at mkellner@washingtontimes.com.

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