Steve Landesberg (1945-2010)

Steve Landesberg has died. He was best known for playing Arthur Dietrich on Barney Miller, which was a funny TV show, even though it did whitewash the New York City police department. (Isn’t that always the way? You’re never going to see a TV series about a corrupt cop or a racist cop, but I digress.) I remember before that he was in a short-lived series called The Paul Sand Show. Landesberg was the only reason for watching that program. He had a dry, understated delivery that could make material seem better than it was.

As is often the case with an actor who appears in a successful TV series, his subsequent career was disappointing. Mainly he just did bit parts here and there. When I lived in Hollywood, on more than one occasion I heard someone ask, “Whatever happened to Steve Landesberg?” It’s a shame the entertainment industry didn’t use him more.

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