Actor Philip Bruns Dies at Age 80

Philip Bruns, 80, who played the father on the 1970s comedy series Mary Hartman, died Wednesday in Los Angeles of natural causes.

Born in Pipestone, Minn., Philip Bruns attended Yale University’s drama school, then began his career in New York on the stage and as a prolific actor in TV commercials.

He appeared on two seasons of the Mary Hartman show, playing Mary’s father on the soap-opera parody. He also spent three years with Jackie Gleason on his comedy-variety show in the mid-1960s.

He later went to Los Angeles, appearing in more than 40 feature films, including “Flashdance,” “The Stunt Man,” and “My Favorite Year.”

Bruns wrote a book, “The Character Actor’s Do’s, Don’ts And Anecdotes,” which was published in early November 2008. Legendary actor (and Bruns’ co-star in The Stunt Man and My Favorite Year) Peter O’Toole wrote the book’s foreword.

He was also a philanthropist, establishing the largest private school library in the Bahamas.

Until his death, Bruns resided in Hollywood with his wife, former Broadway musical actress Laurie Franks.

Bruns is survived by his wife, actress Laurie Franks.

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