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Richard Erdman, prolific and longtime character actor of film and TV, has died according to a report by Variety. He was 93.
Erdman had nearly 200 film credits to his name (like Stalag 17, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and Perry Mason, to name just a few) since beginning his career in the 1940s, but became a genre staple early with his performance in one of the more memorable episodes of The Twilight Zone.
“A Kind of Stopwatch,” from 1963, saw Erdman star as a man that can stop time with a magical watch — but who is so boring and awful that the watch's abilities only serve to punish his personality defects. The range needed to go from that performance to countless one-off guest-star slots and ‘80s cartoon voice-acting gigs continued to serve him when he landed his most famous modern role: Leonard from Community.
The perpetual student was a walking punchline who still managed to steal scenes, which was a testament to Erdman’s unwavering talents.
Film historian Alan K. Rode paid tribute to his friend and helped break the news on Twitter:
Erdman’s Community costars also paid tribute to the beloved actor:
Erdman’s last role was on an episode of Dr. Ken as a fictionalized version of himself.