Bill Macy, who acted alongside Bea Arthur in the sitcom "Maude," has died. He was 97.
Macy's friend Matt Beckoff confirmed the news in a statement to USA TODAY Friday.
"He died at 7:13pm last night in Los Angeles," his statement read. "He is survived by his wife Samantha Harper Macy."
Macy played Walter Findlay, husband to Arthur's character Maude Findlay in the "All in the Family" spin-off series. The series ran from 1972 to 1978.
In a post to Facebook, Beckoff called Macy "a spitfire right up to the end."
"My buddy. Gonna miss you Bill," he added.
Macy was born Wolf Garber on May 18, 1922, to Michael and Mollie Garber in Revere, Massachusetts. He had a long career in the theater and film before “Maude,” including as an original cast member of the 1969-72 New York stage sensation “Oh! Calcutta!” that featured fully nude actors. He was in the 1972 movie version of the musical about sexual mores.
Among Macy’s other movie credits are 2006′s “The Holiday”; 1999′s “Analyze This”; the 1979 Steve Martin comedy “The Jerk,” and 1982′s “My Favorite Year” starring Peter O’Toole, an affectionate behind-the-scenes look at a 1950s TV variety series.
Macy made dozens of guest appearances in series including “Seinfeld,” ″How I Met Your Mother” and “ER.”
Macy, as head comedy writer for temperamental star King Kaiser (Joseph Bologna), used his gifts to great effect, as he later would while playing spouse to demanding Maude.
Among them: his distinctively puffy-eyed, beset-upon expression of suffering, and an ability to slide deftly into explosive frustration.
“Maude” also gave Macy the chance to turn serious. In one story line he descended into alcoholism and struck Maude; in another he offered tender support in a provocative episode when she decided to end an unexpected, late-in-life pregnancy.
In real life, strangers would call him “Mr. Maude” and, presuming that he and Walter really were the same people, console him for having such a difficult wife.
“I used to tell them that people like that really existed,” Macy once explained.
Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Bill Macy, 'Maude' husband, dead at 97