‘Murphy Brown’ star Charles Kimbrough dies at 86

Charles Kimbrough, a Tony- and Emmy-nominated actor who played a live-action news anchor alongside Candice Bergen on “Murphy Brown,” died Jan. 11 in Culver City, Calif., his son confirmed on Sunday. He was 86 years old.

Kimbrough played reporter Jim Dial in all 10 seasons of the hit CBS sitcom “Murphy Brown” between 1988 and 1998, earning an Emmy Award nomination in 1990 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. He reprized the role for three episodes in the 2018 reboot.

The New York Times first reported his death.

Kimbrough’s wife, actress Beth Howland, who played waiter Vera on the CBS sitcom “Alice” in the 1970s and 1980s. died in 2016. They married in 2002, more than a decade after his 1991 divorce from his first wife, Mary Jane (Wilson) Kimbrough, who died in 2007.

The Times reports that Kimbrough is survived by a sister, Linda Kimbrough, a son, John Kimbrough, and a daughter-in-law, Holly Howland.

Charles Kimbrough obituary
Charles Kimbrough, right, poses with fellow TV series ‘Murphy Brown’ actress Candice Bergen as they reunite for a segment of NBC’s ‘Today’ show in New York, February 27, 2008.

Richard Drew/AP

Born May 23, 1936, Kimbrough spent years on the New York theater scene. He was nominated for a Tony in 1971 for his Broadway performance in Steven Sondheim’s musical “Company.”

But what made him a familiar face was the role in “Murphy Brown,” his son told The Times, where he played the stuffy reporter from a different generation than the titular character.

Kimbrough also lent his voice to a gargoyle named Victor in Disney’s animated film “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”


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