As reported by Deadline, actor Robert Michael Morris has died. Morris was best known for playing Mickey Deane on HBO’s The Comeback, but he was also an accomplished playwright, director, and acting teacher. Deadline says the cause of death “was not immediately known.” Morris was 77.
Morris’ work as an acting teacher actually led directly to his role on The Comeback, as series co-creator Michael Patrick King happened to be one of Morris’ students when he was in college. Deadline even says King and Comeback star Lisa Kudrow specifically wrote the role for him, even though playing lovable hairdresser Mickey Deane was his first TV job. Having apparently caught the TV bug, Morris then moved onto minor roles on hit shows like Arrested Development, Will & Grace, and How I Met Your Mother—where he occasionally appeared as Metro News 1 meteorologist Lou. He also had a recurring role on Will Arnett’s short-lived Fox series Running Wilde, popped up on 2 Broke Girls, and returned to HBO for the Comeback revival in 2014.
In a statement, Michael Patrick King said that Morris was “an inspiration to write for and to be around,” adding that “his creativity was only matched by the joy and gratefulness he felt for each day he got to live his life as an artist.”
Kudrow also shared some thoughts on Twitter: