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Lena Dunham Pays Tribute to Girls Onscreen Dad Peter Scolari After His Death: 'The Most Humble Icon'

·3-min read
Peter Scolari lena dunham
Peter Scolari lena dunham

Apatow Productions/Kobal/Shutterstock

Lena Dunham is mourning the loss of her onscreen dad.

The eight-time Emmy Award nominee, 35, paid tribute to actor Peter Scolari on Instagram, after he died of cancer at age 66 on Friday morning.

Scolari had a recurring role as Tad, father of Dunham's character Hannah Horvath, throughout the six-season run of her breakout HBO series Girls. His character came out as gay while married to Hannah's mother Loreen (Becky Ann Baker). The role earned Scolari an Emmy Award for outstanding guest actor in a comedy series in 2016.

RELATED: Peter Scolari, Emmy-Winning Actor Known for Girls and Bosom Buddies, Dead at 66

"The shyest extrovert, the most dramatic comedian, the most humble icon," she wrote in the caption. "You had lived enough life to know that a TV show was just a TV show, but also to appreciate just what it meant to be allowed to play pretend for a living- and you never let us forget that this job was a privilege.

"I remember when you came back from doing a production of the Music Man somewhere- the theater had basically been a barn, there had been no WiFi and you had no understudy- and you were as grateful and delighted as you were when you were nominated for an Emmy. You bragged nonstop about your kids, you had the best stories- like when you did Circus of the Stars and 'that's when I learned to walk a tightrope, there's not much to it.'

"And when we told you that you would be coming out of the closet on the show you said 'thank you, you can trust me with this.' Becky Ann and I loved every second of playing your family and I couldn't have been raised up by a better TV 'papa.' Thank you, Scolari, for every chat between set ups, every hug onscreen and off and every 'Oh, Jeez.' We will miss you so much," Dunham concluded.

Dunham shared photos of Scolari throughout his career, including images of him on Girls, Bosom Buddies and Circus of the Stars.

Scolari died Friday morning, after struggling with cancer for two years, his manager Ellen Lubin Sanitsky at Wright Entertainment told Variety and Deadline. He is survived by his wife Tracy Shayne, whom he married in 2013, as well as his children Nicholas, Joseph, Keaton and Cali.

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"According to Ms. Shayne, the only thing that matched his love for his family and his passion for acting was his love of being in service to others," Sanitsky told Variety.

In addition to Girls, Scolari was known for his breakout role alongside Tom Hanks in the beloved sitcom Bosom Buddies, which ran for two seasons from 1980 to 1982 on NBC. They played two single men who disguised themselves as women to gain residence at a women's-only building, the only apartment they could afford.

He later went on to star as Michael Harris in the CBS sitcom Newhart from 1984 to 1990. His performance earned him three consecutive Emmy Award nominations for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series from 1987 to 1989.

Over the years, Scolari has also starred in such series as Goodtime Girls, Murphy Brown, The West Wing, ER, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show, Law & Order: SVU, Ally McBeal, Fosse/Verdon, The Good Fight and Gotham. Most recently, he reprised his role as Bishop Thomas Marx in season 2 of the Paramount+ series Evil.

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