'Friends' actor Ron Leibman, who played father of Jennifer Aniston's character Rachel, dies at 82
Leibman, who was from New York, made his debut in Carl Reiner's dark comedy 'Wheres Poppa' in 1970 and he won the Emmy Award in 1979 for his role as Martin Kazinsky in the CBS series 'Kaz', which he co-created
Emmy Award-winning actor Ron Leibman who played Rachel Green's father in the popular sitcom 'Friends' died on Friday, December 6 at the age of 82.
Leibman died on December 6 after a battle with pneumonia, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Leibman's agent, Robert Attermann of Abrams Artists Agency, confirmed the death of the "incredibly talented actor with a distinguished career in film, TV and theatre" in a statement.
Leibman was known for his role as Rachel's (played by Jennifer Aniston) sarcastic father on the show 'Friends'.
He had initially turned down the role. "I had never seen the show when they asked me to do it,” Leibman said in a 2011 interview to AV Club. “I’m not a big television-watcher. It sounded stupid to me, so I turned it down."
However, his daughter, who was a fan of the show, convinced him otherwise.
"I said, ‘All right. I’ll do it. I’ll do it once, but that’s all I’m doing.’ So I did, and had a very nice time, and they asked me back, and my daughter did get to meet those kids, so I was a big hero in the house," he said, adding that he soon realized that this became one of his most recognized roles.
Leibman, who was from New York, made his debut in Carl Reiner's dark comedy 'Wheres Poppa' (1970). He worked in films, including as the labor organizer Reuben in 1979's 'Norma Rae', starring alongside Oscar-winner Sally Field as the title character.
He played the role of a prisoner of war in George Roy Hill's 'Slaughterhouse-Five' and Captain Esteban in 1981 film 'Zorro'.
In 1979, he won the Emmy Award for his role as Martin Kazinsky in the CBS series 'Kaz', which he co-created. In the show, Leibman played the titular character, a car thief-turned criminal attorney. The show, which began in 1978, ran for 23 seasons.