Police Academy star Art Metrano died of natural causes Wednesday in his home in Aventura, Florida. He was 84 years old. His son, Harry Metrano, confirmed the unfortunate news via Instagram on Thursday. "Yesterday I lost my best friend, my mentor, my dad," Harry wrote. "He was and will always be the toughest man I know. I have never met someone who has overcome 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," he continued. "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."
Metrano starred in two Police Academy sequels as officer Ernie Mauser and was a regular on episodic television, though his career was curtailed after he suffered a tragic accident at home leaving him with a serious injury. The actor did several appearances on TV shows such as Mannix, Mod Squad, The High Chaparral, Then Came Bronson. He worked on almost half a dozen episodes of the original Bewitched series and even played Jane Fonda's 1969 film They Shoot Horses, Don't They? His status went to the next level after he was spotted in a comedy standup on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. His performance included a bit where he played a hack magician whose tricks were easily debunked, which easily became a fan favorite and was later referenced on an episode of Family Guy — resulting in a lawsuit and settlement.
His other appearances include playing Uncle Rio in Joannie Loves Chachi, and several films: They Only Kill Their Masters (1972) and The Heartbreak Kid (1972) and series Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1975), Starsky & Hutch (1976), and The Incredible Hulk (1978). He eventually retired from entertainment in 2001. He is survived by his wife Jamie, his four children, and other family members.0comments