Los Angeles (AP) — Ron Carey, an actor best known for his work as a cocky, height-challenged policeman on the 1970s TV comedy “Barney Miller,�? has died. He was 71.
Carey died of a stroke Tuesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, said Michael Ciccolini, an extended relative and family spokesman.
Carey had a recurring role on “Barney Miller�? from 1976 to 1982 as Officer Carl Levitt, who yearned for a promotion to detective in the New York squad room run by Capt. Barney Miller (Hal Linden).
Carey also appeared in several Mel Brooks movies, including “High Anxiety,�? “Silent Movie�? and “History of the World Part I.�?
“Ron Carey was truly talented, very funny and one of the dearest men I’ve ever worked with,�? Brooks said in a statement.
Carey played a Boston cab driver in the 1970 Jack Lemmon comedy “The Out of Towners.�? He also appeared in scores of commercials, and took pride in being a supporting player and a character actor.
“Stars are stars,�? he told Newsday in 1989. “But without us, the show wouldn’t go on.�?
Carey was born Ronald Joseph Cicenia on Dec. 11, 1935, in Newark, N.J.
He launched his stand-up comedy career in New York after earning a bachelor’s degree in communications from Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J., in 1956. He made his first national television appearance a decade later on “The Merv Griffin Show.�? Appearances on “The Tonight Show�? and the “Ed Sullivan Show�? followed.
Carey is survived by his wife, Sharon, and his brother, Jimmy Cicenia.
Barney Miller Video Tribute
Including Ron Carey
Ron Carey’s biography and filmography is below:
Born Ronald Cicenia, the 5’4″ actor was best known for playing Officer Carl Levitt on TV’s Barney Miller, in which he was surrounded by men who stood considerably over 6′ tall.
Before Barney Miller, Carey was a member of Mel Brooks’ comedy troupe, starring in films such as High Anxiety and Silent Movie. He also appeared in supporting roles in other films and on television, and was seen in scores of commercials.
He died of a stroke at a hospital near his home and was survived by his wife and a brother.
Movie and TV Quotes
* “I got it, I got it, I got it … I ain’t got it.” (from High Anxiety)
* “Only the best gig in town … You are going to play Caesar’s Palace. [Brooks]: “The main room?” [Carey] The main room! [Both]: Groovus!” (from Brooks’ History of the World, Part I).
* “I bust my anus for you, and this is the thanks I get? Boy, you are nuts. N-V-T-S nuts!” (from History of the World, Part I)
* “[Barney Miller] What happened Levitt? [Levitt] I talked it over with a couple of doctors and they said ‘forget it’. [Miller] Incurable, hunh? [Levitt] Yes sir. Five six and a half, that’s it.” (from Barney Miller)
And from his obituary in the New York Times …
At 5-foot-4 and with traces of an inner-city New Joisey accent, Mr. Carey played a plainclothes cop constantly seeking a promotion by currying favor with his superiors.
“Barney Miller,�? which ran from 1976 to 1982, starred Hal Linden as the captain of a New York City police precinct whose officers dealt with the zany characters who came, not always by choice, into the station house. Mr. Carey, as Officer Levitt, would inject unsolicited opinions on how to handle whoever was in the holding cell. Besides playing roles in other less successful sitcoms, Mr. Carey appeared in 15 movies, including “High Anxiety�? in 1977 and “History of the World: Part I�? in 1981, both with Mel Brooks.
See New York Times