Ron Masak dead: Character actor and ‘Murder, She Wrote’ star was 86
“Murder, She Wrote” star Ron Mask has died at the age of 86.
His granddaughter Kaylie Defilippis confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday that he died from natural causes at a hospital in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Masak was surrounded by his wife, Kay, and his children at the time of his death.
The character actor appeared in a plethora of roles across TV and film.
The Chicago native was best known for portraying Sheriff Mort Metzger on “Murder, She Wrote,” as well as earning the moniker “King of Commercials.”
He joined the show in 1985 and acted in about 41 episodes until its finale in 1996.
For 15 years, he was the voice for Vlasic pickles, voicing the product’s icon — an animated stork. Other voiceover work included doing spots for companies such as Rice-a-Roni and Glad sandwich bags.
In the 1960s and the ’70s, Masak made guest appearances on projects such as “The Twilight Zone,” “The Monkees,” “Get Smart,”, “I Dream of Jeannie,” “Bewitched,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Police Story” and “Wonder Woman.”
In 1968, Masak made his film debut in the Rock Hudson picture “Ice Station Zebra.” His other film projects included starring with George Hamilton in “Evel Knievel” in 1971.
His other movie roles included: “Second Effort,” “A Time for Dying,” “Laserblast,” “The Benchwarmers” and “Angels on Tap.”
Aside from being a screen icon, Masak was also involved in charity organizations such as Wounded Warriors, Child Help, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Susan G. Komen Foundation and The Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day.
Masak was also an author, penning his 2009 memoir, “I’ve Met All My Heroes From A to Z.” The book described his memories of people he has met over the course of his long career.
He was born in Chicago in 1936 and was survived by his wife, six children and 10 grandchildren.
His “Murder, She Wrote” costar Angela Lansbury also passed away recently, dying at the age of 96 earlier this month.