Ron Leibman, 'Norma Rae' and 'Friends' actor, dies at 82

Ron Leibman, 'Norma Rae' and 'Friends' actor, dies at 82”

Leibman also acted opposite Sally Field as Rueben in the 1979 film "Norma Rae", and appeared in films such as 2004's "Garden State" and 1981's "Zorro: The Gay Blade".

Ron Leibman - who was known for his Tony award-winning performance in "Angels in America: Millennium Approaches" and his roles in "Norma Rae" and "Friends" - died on Friday, Fox News confirmed. He leaves behind his wife, actress Jessica Walter.

TV fans will also recognize Leibman from his recurring roles on NBC's long-running drama Law & Order: Special Victim's Unit, HBO's critically acclaimed The Sopranos, and NBC's popular sitcom Friends, in which he portrayed Dr. Leonard Green, the no-nonsense father of Jennifer Aniston's Rachel Green.

Leibman won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for playing the title role in the CBS crime drama Kaz, which he co-created as well. Leibman's performance was called "blood-churning" by New York Times critic Frank Rich, and "frenzied" by Associated Press critic Michael Kuchwara.

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He was 82 years old. "I hope you know in your hearts how deeply grateful I am to be here tonight".

"So numerous best memories of my career have Ron Leibman in them". She thanked him "for being my champion".

Born in NY in 1937, Leibman graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University.

"Ron was an incredibly talented actor with a distinguished career in film, TV and theater", said Attermann, his agent. "Our thoughts go out to his wife, Jessica (Walter), and his family", his agent said in a statement. From 1969 to 1980 Leibman was married to actress Linda Lavin.

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