Scolari also won an Emmy for his role in Lena Dunham’s Girls and is also renowned for playing Michael Harris on 1980s sitcom, Newhart. Scolari was diagnosed with cancer two years ago.
Actor Harvey Fierstein tweeted: “Sad to see the news that Peter Scolari lost his battle with cancer. There wasn’t a sweeter man on the planet. We performed together in Hairspray for a time and he was always a total delight. Farewell, dear Peter.”
Co-creator of Evil and The Good Fight, Robert King also paid tribute on Twitter: “Peter Scolari, who died today, was one of the funniest—sneakily funny—actors we’ve worked with. He always took a nothing scene and found different ways to twist it, and throw in odd pauses that made it jump. I will try to collect my thoughts more. He was just wonderful.”
Noted TV critic Alan Sepinwall posted about Scolari: “RIP, Peter Scolari. A welcome, acerbic presence in everything he appeared in, from Bosom Buddies to Newhart to Girls. He and Tom Hanks were so good together that Bosom Buddies soon abandoned the dumb crossdressing premise; people just wanted to watch those guys be funny together.”
Tom Hanks’ daughter, EA Hanks, tweeted: “Peter Scolari was as kind as soul as I have ever met, and an incredibly gifted artist. My thoughts are with his family today. How lucky we all are that the work remains.”
A prolific presence on stage and screen, Scolari, who is best known as a comic actor, had more recently appeared in TV dramas such as Evil, Gotham and Blue Bloods.
His most notable film credit is The Polar Express which also stars his longtime friend, Hanks.
The two also appeared on stage together in Lucky Guy, which was written by Nora Ephron.
As well as his Emmy win for Girls, Scolari was nominated three times during his run on Newhart.
Scolari is survived by his wife and four children.