Thursday, December 11, 2008
Robert Prosky (1930-2008)
By Edward Copeland
"Let's do it to them before they do it to us." That was how Sgt. Stan Jablonski sent his cops out to the mean streets on Hill Street Blues. Jablonski and Robert Prosky had a hard act to follow after the death of Sgt. Phil "Let's be careful out there" Esterhaus (Michael Conrad), but Prosky's career extended well beyond his time on the Hill, doing distinguished work on stage and screen as well.
Prosky cut a wide swath in the type of roles he played, from the sublime to the ridiculous. He won a Tony nomination for originating the role of Shelly Levene in David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross on Broadway. He also played Grandpa Fred, a TV horror movie host in Gremlins 2: The New Batch.
Other notable turns included the pushed-out news producer in Broadcast News as well as memorable appearances as Rebecca's dad on Cheers and in Last Action Hero, Rudy and Michael Mann's Thief.
RIP Mr. Prosky.