Steve Landesberg reported dead
Barney Miller was a great series, with clearly defined characters…sort of like the original Star Trek in a Greenwich Village police station.
Joining the series in the second season was the laconic, intellectual, geeky Detective Dietrich, played by Steve Landesberg. Dietrich seemed to know everything, and when asked where he was born during a lie detector test, he quoted Star Wars (“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”). His dry delivery, unflappable, sometimes with a bit of a smirk, was what made the character really work.
Landesberg also guested on other geeky series: Mel Brooks’ When Things Were Rotten (as a wizard), Harry and the Hendersons, Ghost Whispererer. His distinctive delivery also worked for voices: Dinosaurs, Capitol Critters..and several times on Hanna-Barbera’s meta-comedy, Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.
He was recently a regular on Head Case as Harvey Finkelstein.
Thank you, Steve Landesberg, for showing American sitcom audiences that smart can be funny too.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.