The year 2016 continues to deal devastating blows. Actor Ron Glass has passed away at the age of 71. He had been battling various illnesses, and ultimately succumbed to respiratory failure.
Glass was someone who meant something to a lot of different people. To many of us geeks, he was Shepherd Derrial Book on Joss Whedon’s cult favorite space western, Firefly, and the movie that followed, Serenity, a soft-spoken older man with a mysterious past and seemingly infinite wisdom and guidance to offer. For those who are a little bit older, Glass was Detective Ron Harris on 164 episodes of Barney Miller, which ran from 1976 to 1982. His work there was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in 1982, going up against fellow Barney Miller star Steve Landesberg, two stars on M*A*S*H, and Taxi stars Danny DeVito and Christopher Lloyd, with Lloyd taking home the award.
Firefly and Barney Miller are the two big titles Glass was known for, but he appeared in so much more. He made a career out of short stints on many different shows, including All in the Family, Maude, Hawaii Five-O, The Bob Newhart Show, Good Times, Sanford and Son, The Twilight Zone, Murder She Wrote, Friends, Star Trek: Voyager, CSI, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. just to name some.
Glass’s representative Jeffrey Leavitt offered a brief statement on the passing, saying:
“Ron passed late last night of respiratory failure. Ron was a private, gentle and caring man. He was an absolute delight to watch on screen. Words cannot adequately express my sorrow.”
Many of Glass’s Firefly co-stars have also shared their thoughts, which can be found below along with a video of one of Shepherd Book’s scenes from Serenity that unfortunately didn’t make the final film, and some music to shed a tear or two to remembering our fallen shepherd.