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Character Actor Murray Gershenz Dies at 91

Sep 8, 2013 06:56 PM ET
by Liz Raftery

Murray Gershenz

Character actor Murray Gershenz, who had bit parts on TV shows including Will & GraceModern FamilyParks and Recreation and Mad Men, died Aug. 28 in Los Angeles of an apparent heart attack, the Los Angeles Times reports. He was 91.

Gershenz also owned and operated the two-floor record store Music Man Murray in Los Angeles.

Born in New York City, Gershenz was a music fan from an early age and later worked as a waiter at nightclubs in the city, serving the likes of Billie Holiday. He moved to Los Angeles in the 1950s and opened Music Man Murray in 1962. The store closed last June.

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His acting career began at age 79 with the role of “Uncle Funny” on Will & Grace, according to the Times.

“He quickly became the go-to actor for elderly characters because he was so natural and effortless,” Sarah Silverman, who cast Gershenz in six episodes of The Sarah Silverman Program, told the Times.

Gershenz is survived by two sons, Irv and Norm; a daughter, Nada Pedraza; two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. His wife Bobette died in 1999.

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