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Jay Thomas, 'Murphy Brown' and 'Cheers' Actor, Dies at 69

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LOS ANGELES - Actor Jay Thomas, best known for his roles in the classic sitcoms "Murphy Brown" and "Cheers," has died, Variety has confirmed. He was 69.

"Jay Thomas was one of the funniest and kindest men I have had the honor to call both client and friend for 25 years-plus," his publicist Thomas Estey told Variety. "He will be dearly missed by so many."

According to The New York Daily News, which first reported the news, Thomas died following a battle with cancer. No other details were immediately available about the circumstances of his death.

Thomas most recently played Stalker.com operator Marty Grossman on the Showtime drama "Ray Donovan."

He starred on his own sitcom,"Love & War," from 1992 to 1995, while recurring on "Murphy Brown" from 1989-1998. Thomas earned two Emmy Awards for outstanding guest actor in a comedy series for his role of tabloid talk show host Jerry Gold on CBS' hit Candice Bergen-starrer. He also nabbed an supporting actor nomination for the same role.

Thomas also portrayed Carla's hockey player husband, Eddie Lebec, on "Cheers" from 1987-1989.

Thomas is survived by his wife, Sally, and sons, Sam, Max and J.T., who were reportedly by his side when he died.

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