Actor Bill Macy, husband on ‘Maude,’ dies at 97

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LOS ANGELES — Funeral services were pending Friday for actor Bill Macy, best remembered for his portrayal of Bea Arthur’s ever-frustrated husband on the 1970s sitcom “Maude.”

Macy, 97, died at 7:13 p.m. Thursday in Los Angeles, manager and friend Matt Beckoff wrote in a Facebook post.

“He was a spitfire right up to the end,” Beckoff wrote.

A Massachusetts native, Macy was discovered by legendary producer Norman Lear while performing in a play in New York. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Macy worked as a taxi driver to make ends meet in the 1950s before landing a Broadway role as an understudy to Walter Matthau in “Once More, With Feeling.”

Thanks to Lear, Macy appeared in a pair of episodes of “All in the Family,” where he originated the role of Walter Findlay opposite Arthur, eventually leading to his work on the spinoff “Maude,” which ran from 1972- 78.

Macy continued working steadily, appearing in films including “The Jerk,” “My Favorite Year” and “Analyze This.” But his bread-and-butter work was on television, where he appeared on an array of shows, including “Nothing in Common,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “Seinfeld,” “Touched by an Angel,” “How I Met Your Mother” and “My Name is Earl.”

He is survived by his wife, Samantha Harper.

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