‘Cheers’ actor, radio host Jay Thomas dies of cancer at 69


‘Cheers’ actor, radio host Jay Thomas dies of cancer at 69

LOS ANGELES

Jay Thomas, a radio talk show host and actor with recurring roles on the sitcoms “Murphy Brown” and “Cheers,” has died, his publicist said. Thomas was 69.

He was “one of the funniest and kindest men I have had the honor to call both client and friend for 25 years plus,” publicist Tom Estey said in a statement Thursday. He did not provide further details.

Thomas was fighting cancer, the New York Daily News reported Thursday.

Thomas’ best-known roles were as Eddie LeBec, the former-hockey-player husband of barmaid Carla on “Cheers,” and tabloid-talk-show host Jerry Gold on “Murphy Brown,” for which he won two Emmys.

Diane English, creator of “Murphy Brown,” said in a Twitter post that she was heartbroken to hear of his death and called him “gifted.”

“I would have loved to write another role for him. RIP Jay,” she tweeted.

Thomas, who in recent years hosted a SiriusXM Radio talk show, was a reliably worthy guest. His annual Christmastime appearance on “Late Show with David Letterman” became a tradition that included a contest to knock a meatball off a Christmas tree erected onstage.

Ronald Reagan to be inducted into Labor Hall of Honor

SIMI VALLEY, Calif.

U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta has announced that former President Ronald Reagan, who was once a Hollywood union leader, will be inducted in the Labor Department’s Labor Hall of Honor.

Acosta announced the honor Thursday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum in Simi Valley, California.

Reagan, the nation’s 40th president, served terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild in the 1940s and ‘50s.

Acosta noted that Reagan led the Screen Actors Guild during its first three strikes and negotiated residual payments and health and pension benefits for the union’s members.

The Hall of Honor was established in 1988 to honor Americans who improved working conditions, wages and quality of life for families.

Reagan served as the nation’s chief executive from 1981 to 1989. He died in 2004.

Associated Press

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