Weeks after the entertainment industry was surprised by the death of Angela Lansbury, news broke of the passing of another television personality, an actor with whom Lansbury had a strong connection.
Ron Masak, the actor who played Sheriff Mort Metzger on CBS’ “Murder, She Wrote,” passed away at the age of 86.
Variety reported that Masak died peacefully because of natural causes beside his wife of more than six decades and his six children.
Masak was a Chicago native. He was born on Jul. 1, 1936, to Floyd Louis Masak and Mildred Alice Rudy. Unlike many people at the time, Masak took a liking to the arts and decided to pursue a career in acting.
He studied theater at the Chicago City College and eventually made his acting debut in 1954 with the Drama Guild. Avid television spectators during the 1960s to the 1970s would see him on iconic series like “The Twilight Zone,” “The Monkees,” “I Dream of Jeannie,” “Get Smart,” “Bewitched, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” and even “Wonder Woman.”
Because of his then-progressing fame, Masak made waves and was widely-dubbed as “The King of Commercials” for his notable work in becoming the face of many advertisements, especially his voice-overs. He is also prominent in his Vlasic Pickles ad.
During the 1980s, he voiced “Meatballs” on the CBS cartoon television series “Meatballs & Spaghetti” and even became a voice for Veteran Hold, decades later, in the video game “Medal of Honor: European Assault.”
He even became a panelist on the television game show revival of “To Tell the Truth.” He has also made appearances on “Match Game” and “Password Plus and Super Password.”
But that wasn’t his biggest breakthrough in the entertainment industry; it was during his stint on “Murder, She Wrote” that made Masak a household name.
Ron Masak was best known for his role as Sherrif Mort Metzger in “Murder, She Wrote.” He was the Cadillac convertible-driving Sherrif.
Masak played the role of Sherrif Mort Metzger, the former NYPD cop who eventually took the role of Tom Boseley’s Sheriff Amos Tupper of Cabot Cove, Maine.
Before debuting officially in Season 5, Masak played small parts in previous seasons – in a Season 1 episode and another one in Season 3.
Tributes have poured in over Masak’s death all over on social media.
“Just heard about Ron Masak. Always seemed like a good-natured wholesome guy,” a fan recalled.
“This one hurts personally. Ron Masak was extremely talented and hilarious in addition to being a genuinely happy person. Only months ago, to help me celebrate Twilight Zone Day, he signed this. #RIPRonMasak #RIP,” another user commented.
Sadly, Masak’s death came exactly nine days after the death of the main star of “Murder, She Wrote,” Angela Lansbury.
Lansbury peacefully died with the comfort of her family and friends in her sleep at her Los Angeles home last Oct. 11, 2022 – five days away before her 97th birthday.
“In addition to her three children, Anthony, Deirdre and David, she is survived by three grandchildren, Peter, Katherine and Ian, plus five great grandchildren and her brother, producer Edgar Lansbury. She was proceeded in death by her husband of 53 years, Peter Shaw. A private family ceremony will be held at a date to be determined,” the family’s statement said at the time.
Before their passing, Massak and Lansbury were among the last living original and regular cast members of the iconic CBS Crime drama series, “Murder She Wrote.”