Ron Masak was born Ronald Alan Masak in Chicago on (July 1, 1936. He died on Thursday, October 20, 2022). His death comes less than two weeks after the world bid farewell to Murder and She Wrote star Angela Lansbury. The stage and screen legend, who earned four Golden Globes for her work as crime-busting mystery novelist Jessica Fletcher, died on October 11 — just five days shy of her 97th birthday.
He was an American actor. He began as a stage performer, and much of his work was in theatre until he transitioned to film and television, where he became a familiar character actor. From 1988 to 1996, Masak played the recurring role of Sheriff Mort Metzger in the CBS mystery series Murder; She Wrote, starring Angela Lansbury, who predeceased him by only nine days.
Masak’s early television appearances include roles on The Twilight Zone, Get Smart, The Monkees, I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. From 1970 to 1973, he appeared in the ABC anthology comedy series Love, American Style. He then starred in another ABC series, Love Thy Neighbor (1973). He then earned roles in the NBC crime series Police Story (1975-1978) and the ABC sitcom Webster (1983-1989).
From 1988 to 1996, Masak portrayed the recurring role of Sheriff Mort Metzger of Cabot Cove in Murder, She Wrote, taking over for Tom Bosley’s Sheriff Amos Tupper. During this time, he also guest-starred on various shows such as Rockford Files, Quincy M.E., Magnum P.I., and Diff’rent Strokes. He’s also known for his film roles in Ice Station Zebra (1968), Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970), and Harper Valley PTA (1978).
Best known for his recurring role as Sheriff Mort Metzger in “Murder, She Wrote,” Masak died of natural causes at 86, his daughter shared in a Facebook post.
“Most importantly, we will remember him as a husband, a Father, a Papa, a Father in Law, and a great friend. He has touched so many lives and will be greatly missed,” she wrote.
His career extended to several other classic T.V. shows, including “The Rockford Files,” “The Flying Nun,” and “Bewitched.”
Masak was born in Chicago in 1936, making his first T.V. appearance in a 1960 episode “The Purple Testament” from “The Twilight Zone.”
In the ’80s and ’90s, Masak earned the moniker “The King of Commercials,” starring in and doing voice work for man ads, including being the Vlasic pickles frontman for 15 years.
Later in his career, the actor worked with numerous charities, including Wounded Warriors, Child Help, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Susan G. Komen Foundation and The Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day.
Masak is survived by his wife, Kay Knebles, their six children and ten grandkids.
Fans of “Murder She, Wrote” have also mourning star Angela Lansbury, who passed away in October.