Art Metrano, best known for his roles in the "Police Academy" films, has died at 84.
The actor's son, Harry, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Metrano had died of natural causes at his home in Aventura, Florida, on Wednesday.
"Art would want all of his friends and family to continue to smile when they think of him and to laugh and continue on celebrating life," his family said in a statement.
While many will remember Metrano as the police captain Ernie Mauser in "Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment" and "Police Academy 3: Back in Training," he was also an established comedian. His claim to fame came in 1970, after he performed magic tricks as The Amazing Metrano on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson." He was an immediate hit with the host and audience.
"It was a great moment. He really liked my act," Metrano told Kliph Nesteroff in 2015 of Carson. "He was an amateur magician and loved magic of all kinds. So we talked about that and then he brought me back several times. He really loved it and became a big fan of mine. He propelled me and many others into having employment — not even a career — just employment," Metrano continued. "All of a sudden I was doing all these shows. It was just amazing."
A year later Metrano starred in the CBS comedy "Chicago Teddy Bears," but it was canceled after 13 episodes. Metrano went on to appear in dozens of other TV shows including "Mod Squad," "All in the Family," "The Streets of San Francisco," "Barney Miller," "Starsky and Hutch," and "L.A. Law."
In addition to the "Police Academy" franchise, his film credits include "Slaughter’s Big Rip-Off (1973)," "History of the World, Part One (1981)," "Breathless (1983)," and "How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998)."
Metrano suffered a devastating fall in 1989 and fractured his first, second, and seventh vertebrae, leaving him a quadriplegic. Determined not to give up though, Metrano decided to make light of the situation with a one-man stage show, "Metrano’s Accidental Comedy."
Metrano is survived by his wife, Jamie, children Harry, Zoe, Roxanne, and Howard, and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
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