The death of Charles Kimbrough, known for his role as Jim Brown on the hit sitcom Murphy Brown, was confirmed by his son Jim Kimbrough. He was 86 years old.

Kimbrough his breakout role as Harry in Stephen Sondheim‘s Company, a role that won him a Tony Award nomination in 1971. He appeared in another Sondheim production, Sunday in the Park with George, five years later.


The famous stage actor has also appeared beside Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker in Sylvia in 1995 and also acted in Leonard Bernstein‘s Candide, followed by The Merchant of Venice and Accent of Youth. His most recent work was in 2012 opposite Jim Parsons in Harvey.

He went on to land the role of Jim Brown on Murphy Brown, a CBS hit series that ran for 10 seasons and ended in 1998. Kimbrough revisited his beloved character in a 2018 reboot of the series.

When interviewed by Archive of American Television in 2007, Murphy Brown creator Diana English said that “Charlie is the most lovable, lanky, rubbery, sweet, adorable man. When he came in to read for us as Jim Dial, he just brought it all there: I mean, that ramrod posture, the anchor voice, the slicked-back hair. He brought credibility to the character. We didn’t want a Ted Baxter version of this guy. We wanted the real deal, from the Walter Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow era, and Charlie brought all that weight, in addition to just amazing comic timing.”

Kimbrough also did lots of voice work, including but not limited to Victor in the Hunchback of Notre Dame and Sandy Dreckman in Pinky and the Brain.

Kimbrough is survived by his son Jim, sister Linda, and stepdaughter Holly Howland.

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