Bill Macy, ‘Maude’ star, dies at 97

Mackenzie Nichols

Bill Macy, who played Bea Arthur’s husband Walter Findlay on the “All in the Family” spinoff sitcom “Maude,” died on Thursday. He was 97.

“My buddy Bill Macy passed away at 7:13pm tonight. He was a spitfire right up to the end,” producer and manager Matt Beckoff wrote on Facebook. “My condolences to his beautiful wife Samantha Harper Macy.”

Macy was born in Revere, Mass., and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He was a taxi driver for a decade before scoring a Broadway role as an understudy to Walter Matthau in “Once More, With Feeling.” Sitcom creator Norman Lear saw his talent on Broadway and brought him to Hollywood, where he first earned a small part as a police officer in “All in the Family” and then landed the role of Findlay on “Maude.”

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Sitcom creator Norman Lear saw his comedic skill Off Broadway and brought him to Hollywood, where Macy first earned a small part as a police officer in “All in the Family” and then landed the role of Findlay on “Maude,” which ran for six seasons from 1972 to 1978.

In 1979, Macy appeared as Stan Fox in Carl Reiner’s “The Jerk” starring Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters. Macy has also appeared as Sy Benson alongside Peter O’Toole in the 1982 film “My Favorite Year,” which was executive produced by Mel Brooks. In 1999, he scored the role of Dr. Isaac Sobel in “Analyze This” with Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal. In 2006, he appeared in “The Holiday” as Ernie, alongside Jude Law, Jack Black, Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz.

He made other television appearances in “Seinfeld,” “St. Elsewhere,” “The Facts of Life,” “NYPD Blue” and “My Name Is Earl.” His other film credits include “Serial,” “Movers & Shakers” and “Surviving Christmas.”

The actor is survived by his wife.

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