Veteran Actor of 'Stalag 17' and TV's 'Community,' Richard Erdman, Dies at 93

Jaimie-lee Prince
Mar 18, 2019
01:50 P.M.

Richard Erdman, best known for his role on NBC's "Community," has died at the age of 93. He has over 170 acting credits to his name.


Film historian Alan K Rode was the first to announce the news of Erdman's passing. It was later confirmed by Hollywood Reporter. "Community" co-stars paid tribute to their fallen comrade on social media.

Erdman passed away on Saturday, March 16 in West Hills, California. He was battling age-related dementia at the assisted living facility when he died. His wife and daughter died years before.


Erdman was born in Enid, Oklahoma on June 1, 1925. The industry veteran began his career at the ripe age of just 19. A high school drama teacher suggested that Erdman was cut out for the big screen.

She was right. Warner Bros. signed Erdman for his first film as a telegram boy in 1944's "Mr. Skeffington." Michael Curtiz, the legendary director who worked on "Casablanca," later signed him as boyfriend Scooper Nola in "Janie" the same year.

Erdman went on to work many times as a sidekick, a soldier, a sailor, or a smart-mouthed buddy of other characters. One of his best portrayals was as the laidback Leo in 1950's "The Men."


It was Marlon Brando's feature debut, yet Erdman stole the show. Bosley Crowther, a New York Times film critic, compared the two men in the movie.

He said:

“Mr. Brando is impressive, however, he has a few things to learn from a Hollywood actor named Richard Erdman.”

Another notable role was Erdman as McNulty in 1963's "The Twilight Zone" episode called "A Kind of a Stopwatch." He also starred in "Perry Mason," "Saddle the Wind," and "Murder, She Wrote."

In addition to several film appearances, Erdman had parts in a few television series. He was on "Perry Mason" six times and was a regular on "Where's Raymond?"

Most recently, Erdman was on 66 episodes of NBC's "Community." He played the role of Leonard Rodriguez, a student of the Greendale Community College and a member of a group named "Hipsters" to represent how they're connected by having hip replacements.


Another veteran in the industry passed away at just 66 years old on March 15. Reggie Rutherford was an entertainment executive who began in Super Bowl stage management in the early eighties.

He worked as a crew member on popular tv shows like "The Oprah Winfrey Show," and "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" in subsequent years. He further founded Rutherford Entertainment which produced short films and documentaries.

In 2016, Rutherforward retired. He had been battling health issues including sleep apnea before he died in Los Angeles on Friday. He is survived by his children Chanel, Rias, Aara, and Christopher, and three grandchildren.

Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Related posts

'Friends' Star Matthew Perry Found Dead in Hot Tub, Sources Say

October 29, 2023

Jesse Rutherford's Girlfriend: Relationship Timeline with Ex Billie Eilish

October 29, 2023

"This Caption Is So Eerie Now": Matthew Perry's Last Photo Evokes Sadness among Fans

October 29, 2023

Bumpy Johnson's Wife Mayme Hatcher Johnson Remembered and Honored Her Husband's Memory

November 18, 2023

'When I Die': Matthew Perry Revealed His Wish Less Than a Year before Passing Away

October 30, 2023

This Actor Won 2 Oscars – At 93, He's Retired & Living Away from the Spotlight in New Mexico

October 29, 2023

Matthew Perry Died on Ex Julia Roberts’ 56th Birthday – He Felt like ‘The Luckiest Man’ Being with Her

October 31, 2023

Matthew Perry Laid to Rest by Family & ‘Friends’ Co-stars: Glimpse into the Private Funeral Ceremony

November 04, 2023

Matthew Perry Seen with Woman 24 Hours before Death – She Opened Up about Their Conversation

November 03, 2023

Matthew Perry's Death Had Contributing Factors – Details

December 18, 2023

Matthew Perry’s Teen Neighbor Says He 'Saw Everything' at the Scene of Actor's Tragic Death

October 30, 2023

The Loneliness of Fame: Why Matthew Perry, 'Friends' Icon, Never Built a Family

November 09, 2023

Matthew Perry Was Found by ‘Bystander’ Who Lifted His Head ‘Above the Water’ — Details

October 31, 2023

Widower Left with 4-Month-Old Son Gets Shocking Letter from Stranger Demanding a Paternity DNA Test

January 23, 2024