Tim Donnelly, known for his role as Chet Kelly in the NBC action series "Emergency!," has died at 77.
His brother, Dennis Donnelly, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Tim had died at his home in New Mexico of complications from surgery. The Los Angeles County Fire Museum shared the news Thursday in a statement on its website.
"We at the Fire Museum are heartbroken as we sure all of you will be as well regarding the following news. It is with deep sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our friend, Tim Donnelly, this weekend," the statement read. "Tim, as you know, played Chet Kelly on the show ‘Emergency!’ among many other roles during his acting career."
Born in Los Angeles on Sept. 3, 1944, Tim grew up in the entertainment world. His father, Paul Donnelly, was a production executive at Universal Pictures and his brother, Dennis, became a director who would later cast Tim in several films and TV shows including episodes of "Hawaii Five-O," "Project U.F.O.," "Vega$" and "The A-Team," according to THR.
In 1972, Tim made his debut as fireman Chet Kelly in "Emergency!" The show, which was filmed at Station 51 of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, ran until May 1977 and saw Tim feature in 122 episodes alongside Randolph Mantooth, Kevin Tighe, Robert Fuller, Julie London and Bobby Troup.
"I deeply regret not staying closer to Tim Donnelly, after the show ended, as I did Kevin Tighe," said Mantooth in a statement. "Tim was always in my thoughts, though. After seven years of friendly banter with 'Chet' I will miss him dearly. Tim always had a twinkle of mischief in his eye and would always be so amused when his good-natured pranks were successful. I once told him he was the most lovable pain in the a-- I knew. He would laugh heartily and announce, 'You ain’t seen nothing yet!'"
Marco Lopez, who worked with Tim on "Emergency!" also paid tribute to the actor.
"There was something special about Tim Donnelly that I got to see while working with him on 'Emergency!'" he wrote. "He was like Harry Morgan on 'Dragnet.' They both had this flare of coming on set with a joke or funny saying that would crack up everyone on set and that would start our day. I met Tim on 'Dragnet' and was happy to have been his riding partner as firefighters on Engine 51 on 'Emergency!'"
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