David Schramm, ‘Wings’ Actor, Dies @ 73

David Schramm, immediately identifiable as blowhard Roy Biggins of Wings fame, died this weekend in NYC.

Schramm (R) in a Wings scene with Tony Shalhoub (b. 1953) (Image via NBC)

His publicist confirmed Schramm's death at 73, providing no further details.

Born on August 14, 1946, in Louisville, Kentucky, Schramm was an acting wunderkind who caught the eye of the great John Houseman (1902-1988), and who was among the founding members of Houseman's The Acting Company. The troupe included such future luminaries as Patti LuPone (b. 1949), David Ogden Stiers (1942-2018) and Kevin Kline (b. 1947).

A graduate of the Juilliard School, Schramm moved to New York, where he debuted off-Broadway in the title role of King Lear (1973). A theater actor at heart, he made many appearances on Broadway (Three Sisters in 1973, Finian's Rainbow in 2009), off-Broadway and across the country.

Schramm's talents were used sparingly on TV, but included playing Robert McNamara (1916-2009) on the miniseries Kennedy (1983), episodic guest spots, and the unsuccessful 1990 sitcom Working Girl, starring Sandra Bullock (b. 1964) a few years before her rise to superstardom.

It was Wings (1990-1997) that allowed Schramm to make his greatest impact. Appearing on every episode, his caddish Roy Biggins became a larger-than-life character who was a highlight of the series.

Schramm said in an interview he knew Wings would be a smash:

"I saw this buffoon they created for me, this pompous guy who said garish things to women, and all the other rich characters, I turned to Rebecca (Schull, who played Fay) and said, 'I think we've landed in a tub of butter.'"

Schramm was remembered fondly on social media, including by TV writer Steven Levitan (b. 1962), actor Treat Williams (b. 1951) and his old co-star, Steven Weber (b. 1961):

No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment