Ron Glass Dead: ‘Barney Miller’ and ‘Firefly’ Actor Dies at 71

Ron Glass arrives at Dynamic & Diverse - A 65th Emmy Awards Nominee celebration at Academy of Television Arts & Sciences on September 17, 2013 in North Hollywood, California. Maury Phillips/WireImage

Ron Glass, an Emmy-nominated actor best known for his roles on Barney Miller and Firefly, died on Friday, November 25, according to multiple reports. He was 71.

The late TV star's rep confirmed the news to TMZ, saying, "Ron passed late last night of respiratory failure. Ron was a private, gentle and caring man. He was an absolute delight to watch on screen. Words cannot adequately express my sorrow."

Born in 1945 in Evansville, Indiana, Glass made his television debut in the early 1970s with guest appearances on All in the Family, Sanford and Son and Hawaii Five-O, among others.

In 1975 the actor landed the part of Detective Ron Harris on the ABC sitcom Barney Miller. The role earned him a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy or Variety or Music Series in 1982, but the prize went to Taxi's Christopher Lloyd.

From left: Ron Glass, Jack Soo and Hal Linden in 'Barney Miller' ABC via Getty Images

After Barney Miller, which ended in May 1982, Glass costarred alongside Demond Wilson in the short-lived Odd Couple remake The New Odd Couple. He also made appearances on The Twilight Zone, Star Trek: Voyager and Family Matters. In the '90s and '00s, Glass voiced Randy Carmichael on Nickelodeon's Rugrats and All Grown Up!

In 2002, Glass joined the short-lived Fox sci-fi drama Firefly as series regular Shepherd Derrial Book. He later reprised the fan-favorite role in the 2005 film Serenity.

As the news of Glass' death broke, several of his former costars took to social media to pay tribute. Samuel L. Jackson, who worked with Glass on 2008's Lakeview Terrace, tweeted: "It was an Honor & a Pleasure to work with the Amazing Ron Glass! RIP, Sir!" 

Firefly alum Jewel Staite added: "Ron Glass was one of the greatest actors to work with. His laugh was beyond infectious and his generosity was ever present."

Firefly creator Joss Whedon tweeted: "He got there with grace, humor & enormous heart. He was, among so many other things, my Shepherd. Raise, appropriately, a glass. Rest, Ron."

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