David Schramm, Star of 'Wings,' Dead at 73

Actor David Schramm — best-known for playing Roy Biggins on Wings — has passed away. His death was announced by a colleague on Sunday, according to a report by The Wrap. Schramm was 73 years old, and his cause of death has not yet been revealed.

Schramm's death was confirmed by Margot Harley, who co-founded the theater troupe The Acting Company with Schramm and others. She did not reveal the cause of his death, nor the exact date of it either. In a public statement, she said: "We mourn his loss and will miss him."

Schramm was a native of Louisville, Kentucky and a classically-trained stage actor. He studied acting at Western Kentucky University before getting a full scholarship to move to New York City, where he was a part of the first graduating class of Juilliard School. He went on to have a storied career both on and off of Broadway.

At the same time, Schramm was slowly breaking into the world of screen acting, with early appearances in TV movies and short-lived shows. He played Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in a mini-series called Kennedy in 1983, and later took another historical role as WW. Denslow in The Dreamer of Oz: The Frank L. Baum Story.

To most fans, however, Schramm is most easily recognizable as Roy Biggins, the curmudgeonly airline owner and business rival to Joe (Tim Daly) and Brian Hackett (Steven Weber). Schramm's boisterous performance made it into every single episode of Wings — 172 appearances between 1990 and 1997.

Years after the show was over, Schramm was asked about Wings in an interview with NJ.com. He was deferential to his co-stars, saying that the power of the ensemble was was made Wings so unique.

"I knew when we started it was going to be a success," he said. "Not just because the writers had been involved with Cheers, Taxi and Mary Tyler Moore. But when we sat around the table reading the first script, and 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.' And we did. If only I put the money I made under my mattress instead of in the stock market."


Fans are mourning Schramm on social media this weekend, and looking for more details on his passing. It is not clear if more is coming.