Actor Ron Glass passed away due to respiratory failure, on Nov. 25, 2016. He was 71 years old.
The actor began his career with appearances on “Hawaii 5-0,” “Maude,” “The Bob Newhart Show,” and some movies that were made for television. However, he made his television debut as a guest performer, in 1973, on the show, “All in the Family.”
In 1975, Glass received his first major role. He was cast on the hit television show, “Barney Miller” as Detective Ron Harris, alongside Abe Vigoda, Hal Linden, and Steve Landesberg. The show ran until 1982, for almost 200 episodes. In 1982, he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy for his performance on “Barney Miller.”
After “Barney Miller” ended, the Emmy-nominated actor moved on to “The New Odd Couple,” as Felix Unger. He played opposite Demond Wilson, as Oscar Madison. The show aired one season.
Glass continued to find suitable acting roles, including guest appearances. He had guest roles on “CSI,” “Friends,” “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D,” and “Major Crimes.” Glass also played in “Teen Angel,” “Rhythm & Blues,”and “Mr. Rhodes.”
He also performed as a voice actor. He used his vocals in “Rugrats,” “All Grown Up!” “The Proud Family,” “Superman,” and “Aladdin.”
Fans of science-fiction, remember him as Shepherd Derrial Brook, in the 2002 series, “Firefly” and the follow-up movie, “Serenity,” in 2005. His character’s spiritual leadership seemed to offer the space crew the guidance they needed. Moreover, the actor certainly made an impression on the cast and creator of the series.
Once the news of his death was reported, “Firefly” cast members and creator, Joss Whedon, eulogized Glass on social media sites.
Alan Tudyk remembered his laugh and generosity. Tudyk played Hoban “Wash” Washburne, on the show.
Whedon raised a glass to the actor on Twitter. He honored the memory of the actor by talking about his heart, grace, and sense of humor.
Adam Baldwin referred to him as a kind and gentle soul, on Twitter. He also wished him a “happy rebirth.”
Sean Maher tweeted that it was an honor knowing him and to be his friend. The message ended with, “I love you, sir.” I sign that he was well respected among the “Firefly” cast.
On Instagram, Nathan Fillion asked him not to go far.
Jewel Staite posted on Instagram a picture of her and Glass on the set of “Firefly.” She was being silly so she could hear him laugh. He enjoyed laughing so hard, it would make his eyes water and he often had a good comeback joke. She said he would remember details about people and ask how their families were feeling. He once spilled a Grey Goose Crantini on her white jeans while he was actively telling a story. Once the drink spilled, he told Staite that her pants were ugly anyway! She and many others adored Glass and they cannot wait to see him again. “He hugged hard and often.”
It is apparent that this actor had an impact on the actors of “Firefly” and “Serenity.” It can only be assumed that he left an impression on other members of the acting community.
Glass was more than an actor, he was a devout Buddhist. He was a leader on the set and in the Buddhist community of California. He was actively involved in the Soka Gakkai International Friendship Center.
Whether he is remembered for a role he portrayed, a character he gave a voice to, his hugs, or his devotion to Buddhism, Glass will indeed continue to evoke emotion in many people with his talent.
By Jeanette Smith
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