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January 22, 2007

Comedic Actor Ron Carey Passes

Barney Miller Co-Star was 71

Ron Carey, a comedic actor best known for his roles in the popular 1970s sitcom Barney Miller and in various films directed by Mel Brooks, died Tuesday from complications of a stroke at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He was 71.

The diminutive performer joined the cast of Barney Miller as Officer Carl Levitt in 1976, and remained with the ABC series until it ended its run in 1982.

Born Ronald Joseph Cicenia on December 11, 1935, in Newark, N.J., he began his show business career after graduating from Seton Hall University with a degree in communications.

He changed his name to Carey and began performing as a stand-up comic in New York City. After years in nightclubs, he broke on the national scene with appearances on The Merv Griffin Show, The Tonight Show and The Ed Sullivan Show.

Carey began his movie career with a role as a cab driver in the 1970 comedy The Out of Towners, starring Jack Lemmon. His most enduring film legacy comes from his collaborations with Mel Brooks, who included Carey as part of his stock company of regulars in Silent Movie, High Anxiety and History of the World: Part I.

In addition to Barney Miller, he appeared in such TV series as The Corner Bar, Alice, The Montefuscos and Benson.

Carey is survived by his wife and brother.

A memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 23, at Christ the King Catholic Church, 624 N. Rossmore Ave., Los Angeles.

Instead of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to St. Vincent Meals on Wheels, c/o St. Vincent Foundation, 2222 Ocean View Ave., Suite 114, Los Angeles, CA 90057.

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