The Heartbreaking Death Of Murphy Brown Actor Charles Kimbrough

Charles Kimbrough has died at 86 on January 11, his son confirmed to The New York Times. The family has not yet released specific information about his cause of death.

The renowned stage and small screen actor was married to Mary Jane Wilson Kimbrough for 30 years. They divorced in 1991, and in 2002, he married Beth Howland, per the New York Times. Kimbrough is survived by his son John Kimbrough, sister Linda Kimbrough, and stepdaughter Holly Howland. After getting degrees in theatre from Indiana University and Yale School of Drama, Kimbrough devoted his career to acting. Best known for his role as the anchor Jim Dial in the CBS sitcom "Murphy Brown," Kimbrough made waves on Broadway before his television career (per IMDb).

Donna Massetti, Kimbrough's agent, spoke out about his loss in a statement, per People. "[We] mourn the loss of Charles Kimbrough, a client and friend for over 30 years. Whether on stage or in front of the camera he was a joy to behold."

Fans remember a TV and Broadway favorite

Charles Kimbrough's fan from his days as Jim Dial are remembering him and the laughs he provided. "One of the funniest TV sitcom news characters. #RIP Jim Dial," wrote one Twitter user.

A proven actor, Kimbrough brought expertise to both his television and stage roles — including the 2012 Broadway revival of "Harvey" alongside "Big Bang Theory"'s Jim Parsons, per The New York Times. Often typecast as more practical, proper characters, Kimbrough still felt grateful for his opportunities, according to his son. "He came from a buttoned-up Midwestern family, and so he had grown up with people very much like the characters he played," John Kimbrough said. "They felt very deeply, but kept it hidden beneath a façade of manners and propriety. Somehow he was able to communicate that feeling to audiences, even as the guys he played were keeping it all inside."

Kimbrough's awarding-winning career

Charles Kimbrough racked up a number of award nominations, cementing his status as a renowned actor in front of the camera and on the stage. In 1971, he was nominated for best featured actor for originating the role of Harry in Stephen Sondheim's "Company" (via Deadline). Later, he starred in another Sondheim production: "Sunday in the Park with George." Kimbrough was accoladed for his best known acting role in "Murphy Brown," earning an Emmy nomination in 1990, according to the Emmys

His family remarked on his wide breadth as an actor. "[H]e played a wide variety of characters who were much more dynamic," John Kimbrough told The New York Times. "Some of my earliest memories are of watching him in 'Candide,' he played five different characters, and he was a dynamo, jumping in and out of costume changes."

Kimbrough's family has not released any statement beyond John Kimbrough's statement with the NYT. Nonetheless, fans loved Kimbrough in the 10 years of success of "Murphy Brown," and they will continue to celebrate and mourn his legacy.