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Phillip Glasser

Phillip Glasser

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Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

In the 1970s and '80s, Ron Glass made a career on TV sitcoms spinning wisecracks and quite often playing the personification of the ambitious "buppie," most notably as the style-conscious Det. Ron Harris on the long-running sitcom "Barney Miller" (ABC, 1975-82). As he aged, Harris showed a wider range, including a memorable turn as the spiritual Shepherd Book on cult TV favorite "Firefly" (Fox 2002). With solid Midwestern roots, the Indiana-born and bred Glass made his stage debut at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis before migrating to Hollywood. His first TV work was in an episode of "Sanford and Son" (NBC 1972-77) in 1972, which he followed with an appearance on "Good Times" (CBS 1974-79) as a con artist posing as a blind man. In 1975, he landed "Barney Miller," where his character Ron Harris became a fan favorite with his suave, upscale tastes and wry personality. After the demise of that series, Glass was given a shot at headlining a series, teaming with Demond Wilson in "The New Odd Couple" (ABC 1982-83), in which Glass played the Felix Ungar character. During the rest of the '80s, he guest-starred on numerous TV series, often playing smarmy or egomaniacal characters. He was a country-club...

In the 1970s and '80s, Ron Glass made a career on TV sitcoms spinning wisecracks and quite often playing the personification of the ambitious "buppie," most notably as the style-conscious Det. Ron Harris on the long-running sitcom "Barney Miller" (ABC, 1975-82). As he aged, Harris showed a wider range, including a memorable turn as the spiritual Shepherd Book on cult TV favorite "Firefly" (Fox 2002). With solid Midwestern roots, the Indiana-born and bred Glass made his stage debut at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis before migrating to Hollywood. His first TV work was in an episode of "Sanford and Son" (NBC 1972-77) in 1972, which he followed with an appearance on "Good Times" (CBS 1974-79) as a con artist posing as a blind man. In 1975, he landed "Barney Miller," where his character Ron Harris became a fan favorite with his suave, upscale tastes and wry personality. After the demise of that series, Glass was given a shot at headlining a series, teaming with Demond Wilson in "The New Odd Couple" (ABC 1982-83), in which Glass played the Felix Ungar character. During the rest of the '80s, he guest-starred on numerous TV series, often playing smarmy or egomaniacal characters. He was a country-club nemesis for Sherman Helmsley on several episodes of "Amen" (NBC 1986-1991) and an outrageously self-absorbed celebrity pushing Carl Winslow around on "Family Matters" (ABC 1989-1998). Glass returned to series TV in 1992 as the sales manager of a radio station on the short-lived "Rhythm and Blues" (NBC 1992-93), which focused on the exploits of a Caucasian DJ at a black radio station. He next co-starred in the sitcom "Mr. Rhodes" (NBC 1996-97), a vehicle for stand-up comedian Tom Rhodes. Glass also appeared in the occasional TV-movie, beginning with thug roles in "Beg, Borrow or Steal" and "Shirts and Skins" (both ABC, 1973), and in "Perry Mason: The Case of the Shooting Star" (NBC, 1983). Additionally, Glass directed sitcoms, including episodes of "STAT!" (ABC, 1991). His feature film appearances were fairly limited, but included roles as doctors in both "Houseguest" (1995), starring Sinbad, and Randal Kleiser's "It's My Party" (1996). On the small screen, his distinctive, smooth voice was used to great effect in the animated hit series "Rugrats" (Nickelodeon 1991-2004), where he voiced Randy Carmichael, a role he reprised in the sequel series "Rugrats All Grown Up" (2004-08). Back in live action, Glass landed another series regular role in the short-lived comedy "Teen Angel" (ABC 1997-98) and again scored a part in the equally short-lived drama "The Education of Max Bickford" (CBS 2001-02). In 2002, the veteran actor landed a coveted role in the Joss Whedon's highly anticipated sci-fi drama "Firefly" (Fox, 2002), playing the holy man Shepherd Book, who frequently served as the conscience for the ship's captain and crew. Mishandled by Fox, the series was canceled after only a handful of airings, but after DVD sales on the series proved healthier than its initial ratings and built a rabid core audience, the actor reprised the role for a dramatic sequence in Whedon's surprise feature film follow-up "Serenity" (2005). A recurring role on the James Woods legal drama "Shark (CBS 2006-07) was followed by a reunion with Whedon with a recurring role on "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." (ABC 2013- ). Ron Glass died of respiratory failure in Los Angeles on November 26, 2016. He was 71.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Problem Child (1990) Additional Voice
2.
 Side By Side (1988) Young Louie
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