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'Wings' Actor David Schramm Dead at 73

'Wings' Actor David Schramm Dead at 73
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"Wings" actor David Schramm, who played Roy Biggins on every episode of the show's eight-season run, died Sunday in New York City. He was 73.

Schramm's death was confirmed to THR by his publicist, Rick Miramontez. No cause of death was cited.

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Schramm was born on August 14, 1946, in Louisville, Kentucky, where he acted from a young age. Mentored by legendary actor John Houseman, he apprenticed at the Actors Theater of Louisville and was later given a full-ride scholarship to the Juilliard School.

He co-founded Houseman's The Acting Company (which included fellow performers Patti LuPone, Kevin Kline and David Ogden Stiers), and upon moving to NYC played the title role in an off-Broadway production of "King Lear." The veteran stage actor made his Broadway debut in 1973 in "Three Sisters," and his final appearance in 2009's revival of "Finian's Rainbow," but made many appearances around the country in-between.

On TV, he played Robert McNamara in the 1983 miniseries "Kennedy," guested on such shows as "Another World" (1984) and "Miami Vice" (1989), and was a regular on the short-lived 1990 Sandra Bullock series "Working Girl."

It was his full-throated performance as boorish Biggins on "Wings" (1990-1997) that was his signature role. In 2008, Schramm said in an interview he knew the show would be a smash. "Not just because the writers had been involved with 'Cheers,' 'Taxi,' and 'Mary Tyler Moore.' But when we sat around the table reading the first script, and I saw this buffoon they created for me, this pompous guy who said garish things to women, and all the other rich characters, I turned to Rebecca (Schull, who played Fay) and said, 'I think we've landed in a tub of butter.'"

He went on, "And we did. If only I put the money I made under my mattress instead of in the stock market."


Schramm was remembered on Twitter by his "Wings" co-star Steven Weber, who wrote, "David Schramm was quite simply a fantastic actor. His timing was never less than perfect, his professionalism was always on display. He was kind. It was an honor and a pleasure to have been able to work with him. We are so grateful for the show's fans and for their kindness. xox."

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