From The Hollywood Reporter
Jay Thomas, the good-natured comic actor who starred on the sitcoms Murphy Brown and Cheers, has died. He was 69.Don Buchwald, his longtime agent and friend, reportedhis death due to cancer to The New York Daily News. His publicist, Tom Estey, would not divulge when or where Thomas died when contacted by The Hollywood Reporter.
Thomas played the obnoxious TV talk-show host Jerry Gold (and Candice Bergen's on-again, off-again boyfriend) on CBS' Murphy Brown from 1989-98 — winning a pair of Emmys — after his stint as Rhea Perlman’s husband Eddie LeBec, a player with the Boston Bruins, on NBC's Cheers. On the latter, his character winds up appearing in an ice show and gets killed by a Zamboni.
Thomas also starred on his own sitcom, playing an egotistical sportswriter opposite Susan Dey and then Annie Potts on CBS' Love and War, a 1992-95 series created by Murphy Brown's Diane English.
Thomas often played loud, sleazy types: He recurred on Showtime's Ray Donovan as Marty Grossman, the operator of a salacious TMZ-like website.
For years, Thomas appeared on David Letterman's late-night talk show during Christmas season and told an entertaining, never-gets-old story centered on Clayton Moore, star of TV's The Lone Ranger. He and Letterman also took turns throwing a football, trying to dislodge a meatball from the top of a Christmas tree.