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Ron Glass of 'Barney Miller' and 'Firefly' Dies at 71
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29 Nov 2016 11:22 AM EST

-by Laura Tucker, Staff Writer; Image: Ron Glass (Image Source: Raven Underwood via Wikimedia Commons)

Hollywood has lost its second TV legend in a matter of days.

While Florence "Mrs. Brady" Henderson died on Thanksgiving, now Ron Glass, known to 70s TV fans as Detective Ron Harris from Barney Miller and to more recent TV fans as Shepherd Derrial Book on Firefly, has passed away at the age of 71.

Glass was born in Evansville, Indiana, and attended the University of Evansville. He started his long career on the stage and then began appearing in guest-starring roles on sitcoms such as Sandford and Son, Hawaii Five-O, All in the Family, The Bob Newhart Show, and Good Times.

In 1975 he had his first starring role, that of Det. Ron Harris on Barney Miller. He stayed with the series for the entire eight seasons. He appeared in a number of roles after Barney Miller, but in 2002 he was hired on for his second memorable role, that of Shepherd Derrial Book on the Fox series Firefly. He went on to reprise the role in the film Serenity.

Those who worked with Glass on Firefly and Serenity were quick to speak up and add their thoughts of him.

"He got there with grace, humor & enormous heart," said Joss Whedon, Firefly creator. "He was, among so many other things, my Shepherd. Raise, appropriately, a glass. Rest, Ron."

"He hugged hard and often. He would laugh till he cried at a sick joke and top it with a worse one. He loved a Grey Goose crantini and spilled one on my white jeans in the heat of telling story, and then just said, 'Girl, those were ugly pants anyway.' I adored him," added costar Jewel Staite.

"His laugh was beyond infectious and his generosity was ever present," wrote co-star Alan Tudyk, who added he was "one of the greatest actors to work with." He also called him "a sassy smart ass and I prize that very much. A leaf on the wind."

Costar Adam Baldwin wished him a happy rebirth and said he was "among the kindest and gentlest souls to have walked this earth with us," while co-star Nathan Fillion wrote, "'Shepard, don't move.' 'Won't go far.' We love you, Ron Glass. Don't go far."

Referencing his former Barney Miller co-star who passed away in 1979, Patton Oswalt tweeted, "I hope Ron Glass is somewhere, enjoying a horrible cup of coffee with Jack Soo."

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