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'Laverne and Shirley' Actor Richard Stahl


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'Laverne and Shirley' Actor Richard Stahl

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Actor Richard Stahl

LOS ANGELES, California -- Richard Stahl, an actor whose more than 40-year career stretched from New York theater to film and television comedies such as "Laverne and Shirley," died on Sunday, June 18. He was 74. Stahl died at the Motion Picture and Television Fund's health center in Woodland Hills.

Stahl passed away after a 10-year battle with Parkinson's disease, his wife, actress Kathryn Ish, said. "He had been declining for some time now," she said.

Born in Detroit, Stahl did magic tricks as a boy and moved to California as a performer at age 15, Ish said. He served in the Army during the Korean War, later graduating from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.

Ish and Stahl were both off Broadway theater actors when they met in 1959. They married later that year. In the 1960s, the pair moved to San Francisco and joined improv comedy group, The Committee, Ish said. They settled in Santa Barbara in 1975.

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Actor Richard Stahl in 'It's A Living'

Stahl's film credits include 1979's "Five Easy Pieces," Mel Brooks' 1977 spoof, "High Anxiety," 1980's "9 to 5" and 1996's "Ghosts of Mississippi."

He appeared on such TV shows as "Laverne and Shirley," "The Odd Couple" and "Barney Miller" and held a regular stint on 1980's sitcom, "It's A Living."

"He was a funny guy, he worked in comedy all his life," Ish said.

Stahl is survived by his wife, Kathryn Ish, their two children, a daughter, Allegra and a son, Oliver. Memorial services were pending.

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