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'Cheers,' 'Murphy Brown' actor Jay Thomas dies at 69

Actor Jay Thomas along side Ted Danson on the set of "Cheers"
Actor Jay Thomas along side Ted Danson on the set of "Cheers"

DETROIT – Actor Jay Thomas, known for his roles in "Cheers" and "Murphy Brown" has died at the age of 69, according to reports.

The Daily News reports Thomas died Thursday after a battle with cancer. 

Thomas' friend and agent Don Buchwald said, "Jay was one of a kind, never at a loss for words and filled with so much fun and wonderfully whacky thoughts and behavior."

In addition to his work on TV, many know Thomas from his annual holiday season appearance on "The Late Show with David Letterman," where he'd retell what Letterman once called "the greatest talk show story of all time."

The colorful anecdote involved Thomas giving a ride to a costumed Clayton Moore, star of TV's "The Lone Ranger," and getting involved in a minor car crash that escalated into more.

He first told the story in 1998 and returned almost every year to tell it again until Letterman retired. In 2013, John McEnroe filled in for Thomas, who was recovering from surgery.


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