‘Murder, She Wrote’ star was 86

“Murder, She Wrote” actor Ron Mask has died aged 86.

His granddaughter Kaylie Defilippis confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday that he died of natural causes at a hospital in Thousand Oaks, California.

Masak was surrounded by his wife, Kay, and his children at the time of his death.

The character actor appeared in a plethora of roles on TV and film.

The Chicago native was best known for portraying Sheriff Mort Metzger in “Murder, She Wrote” and for earning the nickname “King of Commercials.”

He joined the show in 1985 and played in about 41 episodes until the finale in 1996.

For 15 years he was the voice of Vlasic gherkins and played the icon of the product: an animated stork. Other voiceover work has included doing spots for companies such as Rice-a-Roni and Smooth Sandwich Bags.

enchanted - "The Salem Saga" - Aired: October 8, 1970. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)RON MASAK
Ron Masak in a 1970 episode of ‘Bewitched’.
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In the 60s and 70s, Masak made guest appearances in such projects as “The Twilight Zone”, “The Monkees”, “Get Smart”, “I Dream of Jeannie”, “Bewitched”, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”. ‘, ‘Police Story’ and ‘Wonder Woman’.

In 1968, Masak made his film debut in the Rock Hudson movie “Ice Station Zebra”. His other film projects included starring with George Hamilton in “Evel Knievel” in 1971.

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 21: Actor Ron Masak attends the 44th Annual Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation Celebrity Golf Tournament at Ron Burkle's Estate on May 21, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Tiffany Rose/Getty Images for Co-Star Entertainment)
Ron Masak attends the 44th Annual Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation Celebrity Golf Tournament on May 21, 2016 in Los Angeles.
Tiffany Rose

His other film roles included: “Second Effort”, “A Time for Dying”, “Laserblast”, “The Benchwarmers” and “Angels on Tap”.

In addition to being a screen icon, Masak was also involved with charitable organizations such as Wounded Warriors, Child Help, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Susan G. Komen Foundation, and The Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day.

Unspecified - 1973: (LR) Ron Masak, Joyce Bulifant, Janet MacLachlan featured in the ABC TV series 'Love Thy Neighbor' episode 'The Marriage You Save May Be Your Own'.  (Photo by Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)
Ron Masak, Joyce Bulifant and Janet MacLachlan appeared in the ABC series “Love Thy Neighbor” episode “The Marriage You Save May Be Your Own”, 1973.
Disney General Entertainment Cono

Masak was also an author, writing his 2009 memoir, “I’ve Met All My Heroes From A to Z.” The book chronicled his memories of people he met over the course of his long career.

He was born in Chicago in 1936 and was survived by his wife, six children and 10 grandchildren.

His ‘Murder, She Wrote’ colleague Angela Lansbury also recently passed away, dying earlier this month at the age of 96.

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