As you may have heard, Steve Landesberg died over the weekend; he was 65 and had been suffering from cancer.
There is much to say about Landesberg, and - thanks to Youtube - also much to see. But of course as far as TV is concerned, most of it begins and ends with "Barney MIller, " one of the great sitcoms in TV history that wrapped in 1982 after an eight season run on ABC.
Landesberg was Det. Arthur Dietrich, and joined the show after the first few seasons. (As hardcore "Miller" fans may know, he actually did a cameo as a priest - or some sort of religious figure, left intentionally vague - even earlier.) "Miller" was a hell of a show: A very sharply written ensemble with a superb cast headed by Hal Linden (who is still very much with us, and working and appearing in various TV shows) alongside Abe Vigoda, Max Gail, Ron Glass and Jack Soo. They were all cops working out of the 12th precinct in Greenwich Village...
Dietrich: He was a fascinating character in a lot of ways. Ageless, and wise beyond all reason, he seemed to know everything about everything, and his background was deeply mysterious. His humor was like a Bond martini - dry, never shaken. Show - and Dietrich's lines - was mostly written by Danny Arnold (and Ted Flicker and Tony Sheehan.) New Yorker-to-the-bone Arnold, I suspect, gave the show its wonderul scent of the great city on the Hudson (even though it was produced three thousand miles away.)
So: There are a couple of ways we can go here, and I've chosen the most logical one - clips! If you've never seen a "Barney Miller," Crackle has many posted for free.
These clips seem representative, and apologies to fans who think they are not, but you go with what you've got. I've also included an appearance on "Mike Douglas" and also check out his cameo in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," from the trailer.