Notable Deaths

NOTABLE DEATHS

December 11, 2008

ROBERT PROSKY, 77

Character actor appeared in 'Hill Street Blues'

Robert Prosky, a character actor with hundreds of credits on stage and screen including Mrs. Doubtfire and Hill Street Blues, died Monday night in Washington, D.C., of complications from a heart procedure.

Mr. Prosky appeared in more than 200 plays on Broadway and with Arena Stage, a regional theater company in Washington. He appeared in 38 films and numerous television shows.

A native of Philadelphia, Mr. Prosky studied economics at Temple University and served in the Air Force.

On Broadway, his credits included Glengarry Glen Ross and A View from the Bridge. He also completed a long run in Michael Frayn's play Democracy.

More recently, Mr. Prosky appeared with two of his sons in Arthur Miller's play The Price, in Philadelphia. He planned to continue in a San Diego production of The Price this winter, said his son, Stefan Prosky.

In the 1980s, Mr. Prosky spent three years on the NBC television series Hill Street Blues as a police sergeant. He later appeared as a priest on trial for murder in ABC's legal drama, The Practice.

In Mrs. Doubtfire, Mr. Prosky played the TV station owner who hired Robin Williams, who dressed as a nanny. His other film credits include Dead Man Walking and The Natural.

OLIVER POSTGATE, 83

Creator of British children's TV characters

Oliver Postgate, creator of cuddly stuffed cat Bagpuss and other much-loved British children's television characters, has died. Mr. Postgate's partner, Naomi Linnell, said the artist and puppeteer died Monday at a nursing home in Broadstairs, 75 miles east of London.

Both surreal and warmhearted, Mr. Postgate's productions were a staple of British children's television for three decades, beginning in the 1950s. They included musical Welsh locomotive Ivor the Engine, Norse prince Noggin the Nog and The Clangers, a family of mouselike pink knitted aliens who spoke in whistles.

His best-loved creation was Bagpuss, a pink "saggy old cloth cat" who appeared in a 1970s series and has topped several polls of Britain's favorite children's shows.

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