Danny Wells, the actor who portrayed Luigi on The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, has died at 72. He died on November 28th, according to an obituary that was published in the in the Montreal Gazette (under his real name, Jack Westelman), but it wasn’t until yesterday that Kotaku broke the news to a wider audience of video game fans. Wells was primarily a voice and TV actor, making appearances on ’70s and ’80s shows like The A-Team, Sanford And Son, and CHiPs. Most notably, he portrayed Charlie the bartender across multiple seasons of The Jeffersons and even got his own “very special episode” in which George and Louise attempt to help Charlie recover from a drinking problem that has destroyed his marriage.
For TV viewers of a certain age, Wells is best known as the actor who played Luigi in both the live-action and animated segments of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, which ran for 65 episodes in 1989 (and in reruns for some time after that). Wells’ co-star, “Captain” Lou Albano, died in 2009 at the age of 76. Our own Drew Toal recently revisited the Super Show; you can watch it yourself via Netflix streaming and YouTube). Wells’ death coincidentally comes near the end of what Nintendo has deemed The Year Of Luigi, making this a twilight for the character in more ways than one.