‘Murphy Brown’ actor Charles Kimbrough dead at 86

Actor Charles Kimbrough, who played straight-laced news anchor Jim Dial on the hit sitcom “Murphy Brown,” has died, his son said. He was 86.

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Kimbrough died on Jan. 11 in Culver City, California, The New York Times reported. John Kimbrough confirmed his father’s death to the newspaper.

The actor appeared in 250 episodes of “Murphy Brown,” which debuted in 1988, according to He appeared in the first 247 episodes of the show from 1988 to 1988, appearing on the news set with star Candice Bergen. He appeared in three more episodes when the show returned in September 2018, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

As Jim Dial, Kimbrough portrayed the 1980s newsman, with his gravelly voice and the seriousness of a Walter Cronkite, the Times reported. He was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1990 for supporting actor, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“Unfortunately, I’m really good at playing jackasses of one kind or another,” Kimbrough told The Wall Street Journal in 2012. “I’ve always been slightly self-conscious as an actor, and I guess that sometimes reads as pomposity.”

The veteran actor also excelled on stage. He was nominated for a Tony Award in 1971 for best featured actor in a musical for his role in “Company,” according to the entertainment news website. He then appeared as two characters in another acclaimed musical, the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Sunday in the Park With George,” which debuted in 1984.

Kimbrough also starred in the original off-Broadway production of “Sylvia” opposite Sarah Jessica Parker and appeared in “Candide,” “Same Time, Next Year,” “Accent on Youth,” “Hay Fever,” “The Merchant of Venice” and the 2012 revival of “Harvey.”

Born May 23, 1936, the Minnesota native also lent his voice to Victor the gargoyle in Disney’s animated film “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” the Times reported.

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