‘Murphy Brown’ Star Charles Kimbrough Dies At 86


NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 11: Charles Kimbrough attends the “Murphy Brown” 25th anniversary event at … [+] the Museum of Modern Art on December 11, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/FilmMagic)


Charles Kimbrough, who is remembered for his 10-season stint as the anchorman Jim Dial on the Emmy Award-winning comedy Murphy Brown, died on January 11 in Culver City, California. He was 86. The cause of his death was not revealed.

Born May 23, 1936 in St. Paul, Minnesota, Charles Kimbrough had an extensive career on stage, including his Tony Award nominated performance in the original 1970 Broadway production of the Steven Sondheim musical Company. Along the way, he peppered his acting resume with appearances on television on series like daytime dramas Another World and All My Children, and primetime series like Kojak and Spenser: For Hire. He also appeared on the big screen in movies like The Front in 1976 and Starting Over in 1979. But it was the role of Jim Dial that put Kimbrough into the mainstream.

In 1990, he was nominated for an Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy for Murphy Brown.

circa 1995: American actors (L-R) Charles Kimbrough, Joe Regalbuto, Grant Shaud and Candice Bergen … [+] watch Faith Ford as she reacts to a cat sitting beside an empty goldfish bowl in a still from the TV show ‘Murphy Brown,’ 1990s. The episode was entitled ‘Socks and the Single Woman.’ Bergen has shoulder-length hair and wears a cobalt blue pantsuit. (Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)

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Kimbrough also became a popular voice actor in animated series like Dinosaurs, Mighty Max, Pinky and the Brain, The Angry Beavers, and Batman Beyond. He also appeared as the gargoyle named Victor in Disney’s 1996 animated The Hunchback of Notre-Dame and he reprised his role for the films’ sequel and several video game adaptations.

More recently, he returned as Jim Dial in three episodes of the Murphy Brown one season reboot in 2018.

Kimbrough was married to Alice star Beth Howland, who died in 2015. His first wife, Mary Jane (Wilson) Kimbrough, died in 2007. Survivors include his son John.

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