Charles Kimbrough (1936-2023)
Charles Kimbrough died on January 11, 2023 in Culver City, CA of natural causes.
Kimbrough was a veteran TV actor who was also a prolific stage performer. He played newsman Jim Dial across the 10 seasons of CBS hit sitcom “Murphy Brown” between 1988 and 1998, earning an Emmy nomination in 1990 for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series and reprised the role for three episodes in the 2018 reboot. He originated the role of Harry in the original 1970 Broadway production of Sondheim’s “Company;” for which he was nominated for a Tony.
A native of St Paul MN, Kimbrough - also the brother of veteran Chicago stage actor Linda Kimbrough - spent years in the New York and regional theater scene. He once appeared in a 1959 stage production of "Our Town" for the Williamstown Theatre Festival in which Thornton Wilder himself played the Stage Manager – and is remembered as a delightfully uptight Gurney ("Later Life," 1993; "Sylvia" 1995), as the withering rival of Seurat in Sondheim's original 1984 Broadway production "Sunday in the Park with George", and a sprightly Pangloss in "Candide" in 1974. In 1974, he was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Actor in a Principal Role for his performance in "Rich and Famous" at Chicago’s Academy Festival Theatre.
Other theater credits include:
“Harvey” [Broadway] Roundabout Theatre Production, 2012
“The Merchant of Venice” [Broadway] Broadway Transfer, 2010
“Accent On Youth Accent On Youth” [Broadway] 2009
“The Fourth Wall” [Off-Broadway] 2002
“Tartuffe” [Off-Broadway] 1999
“Hay Fever” [Broadway] 1985
“Drinks Before Dinner” [Off-Broadway] 1978
“Boy Meets Girl” [Broadway] 1976
“Secret Service” [Broadway] 1976
“The Rules of the Game” [Broadway] 1974
“Love for Love” [Broadway] 1974
“Troilus and Cressida” [Off-Broadway] 1973
“All Together Now” [Regional (US)] World Premiere, 1973
“All in Love” [Off-Broadway] Original Off-Broadway Production, 1961
Kimbrough referred to as a "dubious honor" the fact that, in an early episode of "Murphy Brown," he became the first actor to shout "That sucks!" on network television. Though the word had never been on the FCC's list of prohibited words, it had not yet been used on episodic television.
He is survived by sister, Linda Kimbrough, a son, John Kimbrough, and a stepdaughter, Holly Howland.