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R.I.P. John Hostetter, Murphy Brown actor and voiceover performer

Family Ties (Photo: Getty Images, NBC Universal)

As reported by Deadline, character actor John Hostetter—who had a recurring role on Murphy Brown and did voiceover work for a handful of anime films—died last week from “cancer complications.” He was 69.

Born in Brooklyn but raised in Maryland, Hostetter was a stage actor before making the transition to film and TV. His first movie role came in the 1979 Arthur Hiller comedy The In-Laws, and from there he moved onto a whole bunch of minor roles in big shows like CHiPs, T.J. Hooker, Knight Rider, Remington Steele, Family Ties, and Moonlighting, as well as the occasional movie role in stuff like Into The Night, Heartbreak Ridge, and the Bill Cosby vehicle Leonard Part 6. However, his most recognizable role came in 1988 when he joined the cast of CBS’s Murphy Brown. The show went on to become a big hit for the network, and Hostetter appeared in all 10 seasons as John, the show-within-a-show’s stage manager.


While Hostetter was appearing in hit TV shows, though, he was also building a similarly successful career as a voice actor. He played Bazooka on the G.I. Joe cartoon and Ramhorn the cassette on The Transformers, and he eventually became a go-to actor on the English dubs for movies from legendary anime production house Studio Ghibli. Over the years, Hostetter provided voices for Castle In The Sky, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Princess Mononoke, as well as a few other anime shows and American cartoons.

A statement on Hostetter’s official site refers to him as someone who “wrote in iambic pentameter and lived the same way,” adding that “his passing has caused the earth to shift a bit on its axis.” He’s survived by his wife, three nephews, and a grand-nephew.

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