Richard Roat, Character Actor Known for Friends and Seinfeld, Dead at 89

Richard Roat. Photo: Fred Sabine /American Broadcasting Companies via Getty Images

Richard Roat, a character actor known for roles on Friends, Seinfeld, and 24, among others, died on August 5, according to an obituary published in the Los Angeles Times. He was 89. A cause of death remains unknown. Roat began his onscreen career in 1962 when he played the uncredited role of Garfield on the cop sitcom Car 54, Where Are You? in the episode “How Smart Can You Get?” which, in 1997, TV Guide ranked at No. 61 on its list of the best TV episodes of all time.

Over the course of his career, Roat played over 135 roles in film, television, and on Broadway. Notable work includes his role as Al Beatty in an episode of Golden Girls, in which he died after having spent the night with Rose (Betty White). He later played Kendall Nesbitt, a murder-mystery host, on the same show. Other sitcoms he acted on include Seinfeld, on which he played Dr. Berg, a doctor who writes on Elaine’s chart that she is “difficult,” and Friends, on which he played Burt in “The One Where Ross Dates a Student,” a fellow professor at Ross’s university who reveals he will be fired if he dates a student. He additionally acted in Days of Our Lives, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, to name a few more. His last role was in a 2009 episode of 24 titled “8:00–9:00.”

Richard Roat, Actor in Friends and Seinfeld, Dead at 89