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Paxton Whitehead, a star of “Friends,” passed away aged 85

Throughout his long career, Whitehead appeared in movies and television programs.


A cherished member of the “Friends,” “Frasier,” and Broadway communities has passed away.

Paxton Whitehead, an English actor and dramatist whose nearly 70-year career included several parts in movies and comedy, passed away at age 85.

The Hollywood Reporter received confirmation from Whitehead’s son Charles that his father passed away on June 16 at an Arlington, Virginia, hospital.

Whitehead made his Broadway debut in the 1962 play “The Affair” and went on to perform in many additional Broadway shows, including “The Harlequin Studies,” “My Fair Lady,” and “The Crucifer of Blood.” In 1978, Trent University awarded him an honorary degree in the arts, and two years later, he was nominated for a Tony for his performance in Camelot.

Throughout his lengthy career, Whitehead went on to make several television and movie appearances, scoring cameos in such series as “Murder, She Wrote,” “Ellen,” “3rd Rock from the Sun,” “The Drew Carey Show,” “Mad About You,” “Frasier,” and “Law & Order.” Additionally, he played Rachel Bloomingdale’s supervisor in two episodes of “Friends” with Jennifer Aniston.

Whitehead continued to perform on Broadway and in the regional theater during his older years; his final performance was in 2014.

English actor Jim Piddock posted a memorial shortly after his friend passed away to pay respect to his memory.

He posted a message to Twitter on June 19, saying, “Heartbroken to hear my dear friend and mentor Paxton Whitehead has passed away. He was a fantastic performer, a wise friend, and an all-around wonderful person. He was so dear to so many people, and he never failed to put a smile on everyone’s face.”