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Peter Scolari, who starred alongside Tom Hanks in “Bossom Buddies,” died at the age of 66. According to his manager Ellen Lubin Santisky, he died in Manhattan, New York, the morning of Oct. 22, 2021, after battling cancer for two years.
He was born on Sept. 12, 1955, in New Rochelle, New York. In a 2008 interview with The Toronto Sun, Scolari revealed that his father was “a rageful man” and his mother “was a recovering alcoholic, still more than 40 years sober.” He and his siblings were confused about “how a man could treat his children the way he treated us. We look on ourselves as the survivors of psychological abuse.”
Scolari described his parents as “a fiery pair. They stayed together for the kids and also because they were hopelessly in love with each other, but they were totally incompatible.” However, growing up with all of the “psychological abuse” helped him become the actor he became.
I created a persona to deal with all of this. A sort of `you can’t find who I really am because I’m moving all over the place’ kind of thing. I became a chess player. I anticipated the moves my father was going to make.
Like most children in cases like this, Scolari was an overachiever. As a teenager, he was a model student, blue-ribbon scholar, and star athlete. He truly found his love for acting in high school when he played Finch in “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying.”
In 1981, he married Lisa Kretzschmar. They were together for two years before divorcing in 1983. Three years later he married Debra Steagal on Dec. 14, 1986. The pair spent 10 years together and had two children before divorcing in 1996.
He married his third wife, Cathy Trien, on Oct. 12, 1998. The couple had two children together before divorcing on May 29, 2004. Scolari married his widow, Tracy Shayne, on June 21, 2013.
The actor/director was also known for his reoccurring role in the “Newhart” show. He can also be seen in “That Thing You Do!” and “Girls.” More recently Scolari played Bishop Thomas Marx in Paramount’s drama series “Evil.”
His fans could also see him on Broadway in “Wicked,” “Hairspray,” and “Bronx Bombers.”
Scolari is survived by his wife and four children Nicholas, Keaton, Cali, and Joseph. May he rest in peace.
Written by Sheena Robertson
NPR: Peter Scolari, of ‘Newhart,’ ‘Bosom Buddies’ and ‘Girls,’ dies at 66
IMDb: Peter Scolari
The Toronto Star: From tragedy, a comedian is born; by Richard Ouzounian
Top, Inset, and Featured Image Courtesy of Walt Disney Television’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License