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Actor Scoey Mitchell dies at age 92


Comedian, actor, writer and television director Scoey Mitchell has died, one week after his 92nd birthday, his family announced this week.

Born Roscoe Mitchell Jr. on March 12, 1930, Mitchell appeared on “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,’’ “The Ed Sullivan Show,’’ “The Joey Bishop Show,’’ such game shows as “Match Game,’’ “Tattletales’’ and “The Hollywood Squares.’’

Mitchell had a recurring role on the CBS comedy “Rhoda’’ from 1974-76 and portrayed the father of Richard Pryor’s character in the 1986 film, “Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling.’’

Mitchell starred on ABC’s short-lived adaptation of the Neil Simon play, “Barefoot in the Park,’’ the first series to have a predominantly Black cast since “Amos ‘n’ Andy’’ ended its run in the mid-1950s.

According to his brother, jazz pianist Billy Mitchell, his brother “was fired due to ‘differences of opinion’ with the series’ producers. What is rarely mentioned is that these differences were rooted in Scoey’s attempt to get more Blacks in jobs behind the camera and as script writers.’’

Rather than recast the role, ABC canceled the low-rated series after 12 episodes.

Mitchell’s other television acting credits included the original “The Odd Couple,’’ “The Six Million Dollar Man,” “Taxi” and “Baretta.’’

Mitchell was also a writer and director for the 1986-87 NBC comedy, “Me & Mrs. C.’’ and directed episodes of the 1989-90 NBC comedy “13 East.’’

In addition to his brother, Mitchell, who died on March 19, is survived by his sister Mary Warren.