Charles Kimbrough of ‘Murphy Brown’ Dead at 86

George Lange/CBS/Courtesy Everett Collection
George Lange/CBS/Courtesy Everett Collection

Charles Kimbrough, Emmy-nominated for his portrayal of hard-edged news anchor Jim Dial on Murphy Brown, has died at the age of 86. He died Jan. 11 in Culver City, California, his son John confirming his death to The New York Times.

Kimbrough was born in Minnesota in 1936 and grew up in Highland Park, Illinois, before studying music and theater at Indiana University. He later got a master’s from the Yale School of Drama.

He broke out with his Tony-nominated role as Harry in the Broadway debut of Stephen Sondheim’s Company in 1970 before his Murphy Brown fame. The CBS comedy, which starred Candice Bergen, premiered in 1988 and lasted 10 seasons. The series was revived for a 13-episode season in fall 2018, with Kimbrough reprising his role for three episodes.

Most recently, Kimbrough starred alongside Jim Parsons in the Broadway revival of Harvey in 2012.

He married fellow actor and Company co-star Beth Howland in 2002, who passed away in 2016. Kimbrough’s cause of death hasn’t been reported.

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