Bill Macy, ‘Maude’ star, dies at 97

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.”

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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Bill Macy in 'Maude'
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Bill Macy in 'Maude'
LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 1: MAUDE, featuring (at left) Bill Macy (as Walter Findlay) and Beatrice Arthur (as Maude Findlay). 1977. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
Canadian actor Conrad Bain (as Arthur Harmon) (left) and American actors Bill Macy (as Walter Findlay) and Rue McClanahan (as Vivian Harmon) in a scene from the television series 'Maude,' Los Angeles, California, December 16, 1977. (Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)
Promotional portrait of the cast of the television series, 'Maude,' 1976. Top (L-R): Rue McLanahan, Conrad Bain, Bill Macy, J. Pat O'Malley, Hermione Baddeley. Front (L-R): Adrienne Barbeau, Beatrice Arthur and Brian Morrison. (Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - JULY 29: Bill Macy portrays Walter Findlay on the CBS television series, "Maude." Image dated: July 29, 1972 Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - JULY 29: Bill Macy portrays Walter Findlay on the CBS television series, "Maude." Image dated: July 29, 1972 Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 1: MAUDE cast members (from left) Bill Macy (as Walter Findlay) and Bea Arthur (as Maude Findlay). 1975. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - AUGUST 1; MAUDE cast members, from left, Bea Arthur as Maude Findlay, Bill Macy as Walter Findlay and Hermione Baddeley as Mrs. Nell Naugatuck. Image dated August 1, 1974. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
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