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Richard Roat, 'Seinfeld' and 'Friends' actor, dies at 89

Roat's career took off with the early '60s soap opera "The Doctors," on which he appeared as Dr. Jerry Chandler.
Richard Roat, bottom, Jay Leno and and Ellen Reagan in the 1978 film "Almost Heaven."
Richard Roat, bottom, Jay Leno and and Ellen Reagan in the 1978 film "Almost Heaven."ABC via Getty Images

Richard Roat, a character actor whose career spanned five decades and included roles in "Seinfeld," "Friends" and "Dallas," has died. He was 89.

Roat died on Aug. 5 in Orange County, Calif., The Los Angeles Times reported.

Roat's career took off with the early '60s soap opera "The Doctors," on which he appeared in 172 episodes as Dr. Jerry Chandler. Roat then went on to appear in "Hawaii Five-O," "Cheers," "Happy Days," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "The Golden Girls," "The F.B.I.," "Westworld," "Kojak," "St. Elsewhere" and dozens more television programs.

In "Seinfeld," he acted opposite Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Dr. Berg in the Season 8 episode "The Package," in which he labeled Dreyfus' character Elaine a "difficult patient." In "Friends," he played Burt, a concerned colleague who busted Ross for dating a student. In the '90s, Roat appeared on sitcoms including "3rd Rock From the Sun," "Ellen," "7th Heaven" and "Mad About You." Toward the end of his career, Roat landed roles in "24," "Medical Investigation" and "Cold Case."

Born in Connecticut in 1933, Roat performed on Broadway and at The Public Theatre in Central Park, The Huntington Hartford Theatre in Los Angeles and the Pasadena Playhouse. According to his obituary, he loved music and playing the violin, and he was a whiskey aficionado. He loved sports, too, and rooted for the Los Angeles Lakers and Angels.

When he wasn't acting, Roat prepared taxes for many people in the entertainment industry, running Richard Roat Associates with his wife, Kathy Roat.