Art Metrano, Comic & ‘Police Academy’ Star, Dies @ 84

Art Metrano, a comic actor who made his mark in two Police Academy movies, died Wednesday at his home in Aventura, Florida, at 84.

Metrano in his Police Academy drag (Image via Warner Bros.)

His son Harry Metrano's Instagram post made the sad announcement:

"Yesterday I lost my best friend, my mentor, my dad. He was and will always be the toughest man I know. I have never met someone who has over come more adversities than him. He’s fought and won so much over the years that I always viewed him as indestructible, but the truth is we don’t live forever on earth, but a person’s spirit can live forever within you. Dad, you will always be a part of me and I will continue to live out your legacy. When someone came up with the quote, 'legends never die,' I’m pretty sure they were talking about you dad. I love you and miss you so much! One day I’ll see you again. Rest in Paradise. You’re now my guardian angel."

A later-years pic of Metrano with his son, Harry (Image via Instagram)

Metrano's career took a hit after an '89 fall at home that let to his dependence on a wheelchair or braces. He turned the experience into art, documenting his recovery in a one-man show.

Metrano was born on September 22, 1936, in New York City. He launched his TV career with an episode of the CBS Repertoire Workshop (1960), making his film debut with Rocket Attack U.S.A. (1961).

Metrano killed on The Tonight Show in the early '70s with his famous sketch about a really bad magician.

The ideal working-class guy, Metrano's most indelible movie role was as Mauser in Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985) and Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986). He also worked in the films They Shoot Horses Don't They? (1969), They Only Kill Their Masters (1972), The Heartbreak Kid (1972), the outrageous Linda Lovelace for President (1974), How to Beat the High Cost of Living (1980), History of the World: Part I (1981) and How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998).

Metrano was a staple of episodic TV, appearing on classic series like Bewitched (1968-1970), Mod Squad (1968), Mannix (1969), Adam-12 (1969), Ironside (1969-1974), Nanny and the Professor (1970), Bonanza (1970), That Girl (1970), The Partridge Family (1971), Kojak (1973), Barney Miller (1975), Starsky and Hutch (1976), Charlie's Angels (1977), All in the Family (1978), Wonder Woman (1978), The Incredible Hulk (1978), Benson (1979-1980), Fantasy Island (1982-1983), Punky Brewster (1984), The A-Team (1985), The Golden Girls (1992) and many others.

Metrano was a regular on the short-lived series The Tim Conway Comedy Hour (1970), The Chicago Teddy Bears (1971), Loves Me, Loves Me Not (1977), The Thing (1979), Joanie Loves Chachi (1982-1983) and Tough Cookies (1986).

Metrano, whose memoir Twice Blessed was published in 1994, is survived by his wife and four children.

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