Actor John Albert "Jack" Riley Jr. passed away earlier today at his home in Los Angeles, California, USA reportedly from pneumonia and infection. He was 80 years old and retired after a successful career that spanned decades in various forms of media - including notably voice acting for animated shows.
Jack Riley's roots in television were firmly within comedy, as he came from a radio background where he had his own comically-inclined show. He moved west where he partnered with legendary funnyman Tim Conway on The Tim Conway Show which got his foot in the door with appearances on comedy shows like Occasional Wife, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In and Hogan's Heroes before landing the biggest break in 1972 with his live-action career: The Bob Newhart Show.
On the show Riley played Elliot Carlin, one of the many patients that Bob Newhart's psychiatrist saw on a daily basis. Mr. Carlin was as condescendingly neurotic as one gets, with a sense of humor that geared towards the cynical side, making him one of the show's stronger personalities. The character was so popular that Riley would go on to reprise the role on both the TV series Alf and St. Elsewhere.
Other roles credited to Riley include characters on M*A*S*H, Barney Miller, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, One Day at a Time, Gomer Pyle, Diff'rent Strokes and Night Court. He was also a favorite of Mel Brooks, appearing in several of his films: High Anxiety, History of the World: Part I, To Be or Not to Be, and (cameo only) Spaceballs. He also appeared on episodes of Seinfeld, Son of the Beach, Friends, Coach, The Drew Carey Show, That '70s Show and, in a gag appearance, as an unnamed but obvious Mr. Carlin in an episode of Newhart.
|Stu Pickles, father of Tommy Pickles from Rugrats.|
As a voice actor Riley is best remembered from 1991 - 2005 for voicing the character Stu Pickles in the Nickelodeon animated series Rugrats, the sometimes bumbling toy inventor and father of the series main character, Tommy. The franchise consisted of the TV series, the spin-off All Grown Up! and the Rugrats film trilogy.
Mr. Riley had also served in the United States Army and is survived by his spouse, Ginger Lawrence-Riley and their two children.
Thank you for the memories Mr. Riley.