Charles Kimbrough, Actor Best Known for ‘Murphy Brown,’ Dies at 86

Charles Mayberry Kimbrough was an American actor best known for his performance as Murphy Brown’s straight-faced anchorman Jim Dial.

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His work in the part garnered him an Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series” in 1990.

Charles Kimbrough, a Tony and Emmy nominee who starred as a straight-laced news anchor opposite Candice Bergen on “Murphy Brown,” died on January 11 in Culver City, California.
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He was 86.

Kimbrough starred as newsman Jim Dial on CBS’s smash sitcom “Murphy Brown” from 1988 to 1998, winning an Emmy nod in 1990 for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series. In the 2018 reboot, he returned for three episodes.

His death was originally reported by the New York Times, and his son and agents confirmed it to The Associated Press on Sunday.

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charles kimbrough cause of death

The agency said the actor died of natural causes in a hospital. Kimbrough’s wife, actor Beth Howland who played diner server Vera on the 1970s and ’80s CBS sitcom “Alice,” died in 2016.

“Whether on stage or in front of the camera, he was a joy to see,” claimed SMS Talent, Inc., Kimbrough’s talent agency.

According to the agency, the actor died of natural causes in a hospital.

charles kimbrough cause of death

Kimbrough’s wife, actress Beth Howland, who portrayed diner server Vera on the CBS sitcom “Alice” in the 1970s and 1980s, died in 2016. They married in 2002, after his divorce from his first wife, Mary Jane (Wilson) Kimbrough, who died in 2007.
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Kimbrough is survived by a sister, Linda Kimbrough, a son, John Kimbrough, a stepdaughter, Holly Howland, and a granddaughter, Cody, according to SMS Talent.

Kimbrough, who was born on May 23, 1936, spent many years in the New York theatre scene.

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In 1971, he was nominated for a Tony Award for his Broadway performance in Steven Sondheim’s “Company.”

Kimbrough also provided the voice of Victor, a gargoyle, in Disney’s animated picture “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”