A character actor known for a variety of big- and small-screen performances has died this week at the age of 91.
According to the New York Post, Lou Cutell’s death was confirmed in a Facebook post from his friend Mark Furman.
“My friend Lou Cutell went home”
“After 91 years, and a great life, my friend Lou Cutell went home,” he wrote.
Although a cause of death was not immediately revealed, Furman noted that Cutell had experienced declining health over the past several months.
He had expected “to be home with his family for Thanksgiving,” his friend wrote in the social media tribute.
Cutell’s career spanned generations, but he might be best known for his portrayal of a proctologist whose license plate was switched by the DMV with Cosmo Kramer’s in the Seinfeld episode “The Fusilli Jerry.”
Although he was rarely a leading man, the actor is remembered for various roles in theater, film, and television. His first notable acting job came about 60 years ago in the Broadway musical The Young Abe Lincoln.
“It’s obvious and corny to say”
He would go on to portray characters on classic TV shows including The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Barney Miller, Alice, and Kojak. His final role came in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
Also dating back to the 1960s is his film career, which included memorable performances in Frankenstein Meets the Spacemonster, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.
In addition to announcing Cutell’s death, Furman also offered a touching online eulogy of the “film, theater and character actor” who was a “member of the Academy Board of Governors.”
His post went on to highlight some of the late actor’s most memorable roles — “Big Larry in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Ass Man in Seinfeld, Abe in Grey’s Anatomy S12, E4” — as well as the personal memory of the pair visiting Lucille Ball’s home roughly 35 years ago.
Actor Paul Rubens, who portrayed Pee-Wee Herman in the aforementioned film, also shared his thoughts, writing: “I was lucky enough to be able to tell him how much he meant to me and that I’d never forget him. It’s obvious and corny to say, but nevertheless true: he was amazing.”