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Louis Zorich (February 12, 1924 – January 30, 2018) was an American actor. He is perhaps best known to television audiences for his portrayal of Paul Buchman's father, Burt Buchman, on the NBC series Mad About You.[1] He played the role from 1993 to 1999.

Louis Zorich
Born(1924-02-12)February 12, 1924
DiedJanuary 30, 2018(2018-01-30) (aged 93)
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
EducationRoosevelt College
OccupationActor, musician
Years active1958–2018
Olympia Dukakis (m. 1962)
RelativesChris Zorich (nephew)


Early yearsEdit

Zorich was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Croatian immigrants Anna (née Gledic) and Christ Zoric.[2][3] He attended Earle Elementary School[4] before going on to attend Roosevelt College and Goodman Theater School of Drama in his hometown of Chicago.[5] Louis' nephew, Chris Zorich, played professional football. [6]

Zorich served in the U.S. Army during World War II.[7]


In 1965, Zorich recorded and released an album on Folkways Records, entitled Moby Dick: Selections Read by Louis Zorich.

One of Zorich's first major film roles was the Russian Constable in Fiddler on the Roof (1971). He was featured in Popi and For Pete's Sake and played Pete in The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984). In Death of a Salesman (1985), he played Ben, the older brother of Willy Loman. In 1986 he played a Swiss businessman in Club Paradise with Robin Williams, and in 1988 appeared as Nikos, the Greek millionaire, part of a group arriving in a yacht party, in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with Steve Martin and Michael Caine.

On television, Zorich co-starred in the critically acclaimed comedy Brooklyn Bridge playing family patriarch Jules Berger.[8]

Zorich's Broadway credits include Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2003), 45 Seconds From Broadway (2001), Follies (2001), She Loves Me (1993), The Marriage of Figaro (1985), Arms and the Man (1985), Death of a Salesman (1984), Herzl (1976), They Knew What They Wanted (1976), Goodtime Charley (1975), Moonchildren (1972), Fun City (1972), Hadrian VII (1969), The Condemned of Altona (1966), The Country Wife (1965), Danton's Death (1965), The Odd Couple (1965), Moby Dick (1962), and Becket (1961).[9]

Zorich was on the faculty of HB Studio in New York City. He also edited the anthology What Have You Done: The Inside Stories of Auditioning from the Ridiculous to the Sublime.[10]

In 1973, Zorich and his wife founded the Whole Theatre Company in Montclair, New Jersey — that state's first resident professional theater.[11] They operated the theater for 18 years.[10]

Personal lifeEdit

Zorich was married to Academy Award winning actress Olympia Dukakis from 1962 until his death.[12] They had three children together.


Zorich died at his Manhattan apartment at age of 93 on January 30, 2018.[13][2]


In 1969, Zorich was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in Hadrian VII.[14] In 1976, he was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play for his performance in They Knew What They Wanted.[15]


Year Title Role Notes
1966 Gamera, the Giant Monster Russian Ambassador
1968 What's So Bad About Feeling Good? Uncredited
1968 Coogan's Bluff Taxi Driver
1969 Popi Penebaz
1971 Cold Turkey Douglas Truesdale Uncredited
1971 They Might Be Giants 2nd Sanitation Man
1971 Fiddler on the Roof Constable
1971 Made for Each Other Pandora's Father
1973 The Don Is Dead Mitch DiMorra
1974 The Rehearsal
1974 For Pete's Sake Nick
1974 Newman's Law Frank Lo Falcone
1974 Sunday in the Country Dinelli
1976 W.C. Fields and Me Gene Fowler
1977 A Good Dissonance Like a Man George W. Chadwick
1977 The Other Side of Midnight Demonides
1980 The Changeling Stewart Adler Uncredited
1980 Up the Academy Sheik Amier
1984 The Muppets Take Manhattan Pete
1985 Death of a Salesman Ben Loman TV movie
1985 Walls of Glass Lerner
1986 Club Paradise Swiss Businessman
1986 Where Are the Children? Kragopoulos
1988 Cheap Shots Louie Constantine
1988 Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Greek Millionaire
1989 Bloodhounds of Broadway Mindy
1991 City of Hope Mayor Baci
1991 Missing Pieces Ochenko
1997 Commandments Rudy Warner
1997 Kiss & Tell Louis
1998 A Fish in the Bathtub Morris
1999 Joe the King Judge
2001 Friends and Family Marvin Levine
2004 A Hole in One Sammy
2007 Running Funny Stan
2009 Run It Angelo
2011 Detachment Grampa
2011 A Bird of the Air Stowalski
2011 The Tall Man Lou
2015 Emily & Tim Tim Hanratty (segment 'Attachment')
2016 No Pay, Nudity Lester's Father (final film role)


  1. ^ Shapiro, Mitchell E., 1953-. The top 100 American situation comedies : an objective ranking. Jicha, Tom, 1945-. Jefferson, North Carolina. p. 55. ISBN 9781476664040. OCLC 922454302.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ a b O'Donnell, Maureen (February 4, 2018). "Actor Louis Zorich, South Side native and husband of Olympia Dukakis, dead at 93". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  3. ^ "Louis Zorich Biography (1924-)". Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  4. ^ "". Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  5. ^ Yahoo! Movies: Louis Zorich Biography. Retrieved October 21, 2007. Archived 2011-06-28 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Downey, Mike (May 13, 2007). "Mother's Day sweet reminder to Zorich". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  7. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (February 4, 2018). "Actor was familiar presence on television and Broadway". The Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Hawaii, Honolulu. The New York Times. p. B 7. Retrieved 27 February 2019 – via
  8. ^ Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
  9. ^ "Louis Zorich". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on 27 February 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Meet & greet actor Louis Zorich on Sunday at 'Talkin' with Louis!'". The Montclair Times. New Jersey, Montclair. March 18, 2010. p. D 7. Retrieved 27 February 2019 – via
  11. ^ Bass, Milton R. (August 14, 1975). "The Lively World". The Berkshire Eagle. Massachusetts, Pittsfield. p. 6. Retrieved 27 February 2019 – via
  12. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (2018-02-02). "Louis Zorich, Familiar Actor on TV and Stage, Dies at 93". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-07-11.
  13. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (February 2, 2018). "Louis Zorich, Familiar Actor on TV and Stage, Dies at 93". The New York Times. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  14. ^ "("Zorich" search results)". Tony Awards. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  15. ^ "("Zorich" search results)". Drama Desk. Archived from the original on 27 February 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2019.

External linksEdit