Charles Kimbrough, the actor best known for his role as anchorman Jim Dial on CBS’ Murphy Brown, has passed away at the age of 86. He died on January 11 in Culver City, California, his son has confirmed.
Kimbrough started his career with theatre and then ventured into films and television shows, playing mostly supporting roles. Continue reading to know more about his life and career.
Actor Charles Kimbrough Dies at 86
The news of Charles’ death was announced by his son, John Kimbrough. “He came from a buttoned-up Midwestern family, and so he had grown up with people very much like the characters he played. They felt very deeply but kept it hidden beneath a facade of manners and propriety,” John said, remembering his father.
“Somehow he was able to communicate that feeling to audiences, even as the guys he played were keeping it all inside. As a young actor, he played a wide variety of characters who were much more dynamic,” he added.
Born on May 23, 1936, in St. Paul, Minnesota, Charles graduated from Indiana University with a degree in music and theatre. He later received a master’s degree at the Yale School of Drama. He started his career in the late 1960s with Broadway and earned a Tony Award nomination for the 1970 production of the Steven Sondheim musical Company.
He then appeared in a number of other Broadway productions, including Sunday in the Park With George, Candide, Same Time, Next Year, The Merchant of Venice, and Accent on Youth. In 2012, he starred in the revival of Harvey alongside Jim Parsons.
Kimbrough Shot to Fame with Murphy Brown
After a successful stage career, the actor made his television debut with a guest appearance in CBS’ action crime drama Kojak in 1975. He went on to make episodic appearances in GreatPerformances, Tales of the Unexpected, Spenser: For Hire, Pinky and the Brain, Love Boat: The Next Wave, The Zeta Project, and Mighty Max.
Kimbrough rose to wide fame in 1988 when he was cast in CBS’ comedy series Murphy Brown. The show, set in a television newsroom, aired 10 seasons till 1998. In 2018, the actor reprised his role in the series reboot for three episodes.
“Unfortunately, I’m really good at playing jackasses of one kind or another. I’ve always been slightly self-conscious as an actor, and I guess that sometimes reads as pomposity,” Kimbrough said, reflecting on his career in 2012.
Tributes Pour in for the Actor
A number of industry people and fans are now mourning the death of Kimbrough. “Worked with him on the 2018 revival of Murphy Brown and he was ever the talented professional. RIP, sir,” tweeted writer Gina Ippolito.
“RIP Charles Kimbrough, one of the many vital pieces to the OG cast of Sunday in the Park. His dual performance as Jules/Bob Greenberg is horribly sad at the same time as it is utterly hilarious. What a goat,” wrote a fan.
Another tweeted, “RIP #CharlesKimbrough You were the reason I started tapping the tops of soda can lids before opening them. It was a throwaway gag from a random episode but I still do it to this day and think of you every time I do. Thank you for the years. May your memory be a blessing.”
Our condolences to Charles Kimbrough’s family. May his soul rest in peace!