We have some sad news to report as stand-up comic and veteran actor Art Metrano has passed away. Metrano, who is particularly celebrated for his role as Ernie Mauser in the Police Academy series, reportedly died on Wednesday of natural causes at his home in Aventura, Florida. His passing was confirmed by the funnyman's son, Harry Metrano, who posted a message of tribute for his dad on Instagram.
"Yesterday I lost my best friend, my mentor, my dad," Mauser wrote in the caption about his father Art Metrano. "He was and will always be the toughest man I know. I have never met someone who has over come more adversities than him. He's fought and won so much over the years that I always viewed him as indestructible, but the truth is we don't live forever on earth, but a person's spirit can live forever within you."
Harry added, "Dad, you will always be a part of me and I will continue to live out your legacy. When someone came up with the quote, 'legends never die,' I'm pretty sure they were talking about you dad. I love you and miss you so much! One day I'll see you again. Rest in Paradise. You're now my guardian angel."
Art Metrano was born on Sept. 22, 1936. The actor and stand-up comic made his film debut in the 1961 thriller Rocket Attack U.S.A., going on to appear in many other movies like The Heartbreak Kid, Going Ape!, Teachers, and How Stella Got Her Groove Back. He would also pick up roles in a variety of well-known TV shows including Bonanza, Starsky & Hutch, The Incredible Hulk, and The A-Team. Metrano was also a regular in the 1977 comedy series Loves Me, Loves Me Not.
As an actor, Metrano may be best known for his role as pompous boss Ernie Mauser in the Police Academy series. He debuted in the role in 1985's Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment, where poor Lt. Mauser gets his hands stuck to his head after using an epoxy shampoo. The character returned to get his eyebrows ripped off in the 1986 sequel Police Academy 3: Back in Training, again serving as a foil to the other cops. His co-star Marion Ramsey, who played officer Laverne Hooks in all six movies, passed away in January.
In 1989, Metrano fell from a ladder while working on the roof of his home, resulting in debilitating injuries. Because the actor fractured his first, second, and seventh vertebrae, he was initially left a quadriplegic, though he never gave up his determination to walk again. He worked his recovery into the one-man stage show Metrano's Accidental Comedy, in which he stood from his wheelchair to take a few steps. Metrano officially retired in 2008.
Survivors include his wife, Jamie; first wife, Rebecca; children Harry (Melissa), Zoe (Mark), Roxanne, and Howard; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We would like to extend our condolences to them at this painful time. In a statement, the family said, "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." Rest in peace. Rest in peace. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.