Sad news for classic TV fans and animation enthusiasts. Pat Harrington Jr. has passed away at the age of 86. The comedian and voice-over actor was best known as the handyman Schneider on the classic 70s sitcom One Day at a Time. He even won an Emmy for his work on the show. He died Wednesday night, it was announced by his daughter. This happened two months after she announced that he was suffering from Alzheimer's disease, and that his health was deteriorating. Phil Brock of the Studio Talent Group had this to say in a statement.
"We have all lost a gracious human being who will always be remembered for his portrayals of the human condition. Pat had the ability to bring laughter and kindness to any role. The twinkle in his Irish eyes let you know that you were in on the joke. His was an extraordinarily impactful long lasting career."
Pat Harrington Jr. is survived by four children. His daughter Tresa Harrington broke the sad news to fans around the world this morning. Here's what she had to say in her own statement.
"Dear Friends, it is with the most unimaginable pain and sadness, that I tell you my father, Pat Harrington, Jr. passed away at 11:09 PM this evening. We were all with him today and tonight: crying, laughing and loving him. This is the single most heart wrenching and physically painful thing, I've ever had to endure. My heart is broken to pieces and I will cry and cry until I just won't. Love to you all! And as we head into this year, never be afraid to tell the people you love, that you love them."
Pat Harrington Jr. first hit it big working as a comedian in the 1950s, and soon became known around the country for his appearances on The Tonight Show, serving as part of host Steve Allen's group of 'Men on the Street'. Throughout the 60s and 70s, he was a permanent fixture on television, playing a number of guest starring roles or appearing as a semi-regular. He also voiced the Clouseau-like Inspector in the 1969 animated series The Pink Panther Show. He even had a small role in the classic 1972 thriller The Candidate starring Robert Redford, where he played the emcee.
Pat Harrington Jr. finally broke out with wide success starring as apartment super Schneider on the 1975 sitcom One Day at a Time, where he gave a helping hand to single mother Ann Romano, played by Bonnie Franklin, and her two teenage daughters. The show ran for nine seasons, and Pat Harrington Jr. appeared in every episode. In a recent reunion special, the actor had this to say about his iconic character.
"You had a middle-aged, single man who was lonesome. Look what landed in his lap: a ready-made family! A gorgeous woman I figured I could hit on and two kids who needed to be straightened out. And then it became the story of a divorced woman with two young teenage girls being raised by a handyman."
Co-star Valerie Bertinelli posted an image of herself with Pat Harrington Jr. on her personal Instagram in his memory. During the 2012 reunion, she had this to say about working with the comedian.
"I was a blank slate, and he taught me how to be funny."
After One Day at a Time went off the air, Pat Harrington Jr. stayed quite busy. He continued gust starting on various TV shows and often did animation voice over work. The actor payed tribute to his iconic character on The King of Queens back in 2006. His last credited appearance was on Hot in Cleveland, where he reunited with his former TV co-star Valerie Bertinelli. You can see her instagram below.