Written By Rana G on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 | 12:23 PM
Steve Landesberg, who played dry, intellectual detective Arthur Dietrich on the classic ABC sitcom 'Barney Miller,' has died.
Landesberg passed away in Los Angeles after a battle with cancer. He was 65.
Aside from his role on 'Barney Miller,' Landesberg was also a veteran stand-up comic and writer. He wrote several episodes of the STARZ series 'Head Case,' and played Dr. Finkelstein on the show. He also had a regular role on 'Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers' and made appearances on 'The Golden Girls,' 'Ghost Whisperer,' 'That '70s Show,' 'American Dad,' 'Harvey Birdman, Attorney-At-Law,' 'Law & Order,' The Rockford Files' and many others.
His last role was in a 2009 episode of 'The Cleaner.'
But Landesberg will always be remembered best as Det. Sgt. Arthur Dietrich on the comedy 'Barney Miller.' What a lot of people forget is that Landesberg wasn't on 'Barney Miller' from the beginning; he actually joined the show in the second season. I remember well when he joined the cast because he was very different than the other characters on the show -- a calm know-it-all who could get under your skin. He got into a lot of battles with Harris (Ron Harris), another cop who looked at things differently.
'Barney Miller' is one of those shows that has been lost to time somehow. You don't see it on TV anymore and no one under the age of 35 really remembers it. But it was a well-written, clever series that would be loved today for its quirky characters and odd rhythms. It ran on ABC from 1975 to 1982.
Landesberg is survived by his wife, Nancy, and a daughter.