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Jack Riley (born December 30, 1935, died August 19, 2016) was an American comedic actor probably most recognizable as the irascible Elliot Carlin from Bob Newhart's 1970s TV sitcom, The Bob Newhart Show, and as the voice of Stu Pickles in Rugrats and All Grown Up!

Early life

Riley was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Agnes C. (née Corrigan) and John A. Riley.[1] After attending Saint Ignatius High School and John Carroll University, he served in the US Army. After being discharged, Riley became a popular radio personality in Cleveland; along with his radio partner and "straight man" Jeff Baxter,The Baxter & Riley Show on WERE featured not only music but comedy sketches and a slew of offbeat characters that Riley and Baxter both voiced. The show also expanded for a time to local television on WEWS. He gave up the radio show in the mid 1960s and moved to Los Angeles, where his friend Tim Conway helped him receive work writing comedy sketches, which later led to acting jobs.


Riley was first a semi-regular in the cast of the 1960s sitcom Occasional Wife, a short-lived show on NBC in which he played Wally Frick. But perhaps his greatest fame came as Carlin, the sour and selfish group therapy patient on The Bob Newhart Show. He soon became one of the busiest guest stars on television in the 1970s and '80s. Among his other tv credits are multiple appearances on such shows as Barney Miller, Hogan's Heroes, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, One Day at a Time, Gomer Pyle and Night Court. In 1973, he was cast as Gomez Addams in "The Addams Family Fun-House." In 1979, he starred in ABC's holiday telefilm The Halloween That Almost Wasn't (aka The Night Dracula Saved The World) as Warren the Werewolf (Wolf Man) of Budapest.

He was also a favorite of Mel Brooks, appearing in several of his films: History of the World: Part I, To Be or Not to Be, High Anxiety, and barely recognizable in a cameo in Spaceballs as a TV newscaster.

In 1985, he reprised his Bob Newhart Show role of Elliot Carlin on St. Elsewhere.

He had also been a ubiquitous voice in television and radio commercials, most notably in spots for Country Crock margarine. He also voiced the character "PC Modem, the computer genius" in radio commercials for CompUSA that aired in the 1990s. He continued to make guest appearances during the '90s in popular sitcoms, showing up in episodes of Seinfeld, Son of the Beach, Friends, Coach, The Drew Carey Show and That '70s Show.


Riley died on August 19, 2016, at the age of 80 in Los Angeles, due to pneumonia.


External links

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