We mourn the loss of Charles Kimbrough, a celebrated stage and screen actor who earned a Tony Award nomination for his performance as Harry in the original 1970 Broadway production of the Stephen Sondheim musical “Company.” He was best known for his performance as anchorman Jim Dial on the CBS comedy series “Murphy Brown.”
Kimbrough was born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1936 and raised in Highland Park, Illinois. He attended Indiana University and received his master’s degree from the Yale School of Drama. His breakout role was in the original production of “Company” in 1970 and he appeared in Sondheim’s later musical, “Sunday in the Park With George,” which opened in 1984. Other notable stage credits include “Candide,” “Same Time, Next Year,” “Accent on Youth” and “The Merchant of Venice.” He was also featured in the 1996 animated film “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” voicing the gargoyle Victor.
Kimbrough’s talents reached the mainstream in the late-’80s, starring alongside Candice Bergen on the newsroom sitcom “Murphy Brown.” He earned an Emmy nomination for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series in 1990 for the show’s second season and played the comically conservative Jim Dial throughout the original run of “Murphy Brown,” serving as a main cast member for all 10 seasons. He later reprised the role for a handful of episodes in the 2018 revival of the series.
Kimbrough passed away at the age of 86 in Culver City, California on January 11th. He is survived by his son, John Kimbrough, his sister, Linda Kimbrough, and his stepdaughter, Holly Howland.
We remember Charles Kimbrough for his extraordinary talent and the many roles he played throughout his career. He will be deeply missed.