Actor Who Was Mr. Pitt on 'Seinfeld' Dies at 77

January 30, 2012 - 9:05 PM
Obit-Abercrombie

FILE - In this Sept. 17, 2005 file photo, actor Ian Abercrombie is shown during the British Academy of Film and Television Arts/Los Angeles and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences third annual Emmy Nominees Tea Party in Los Angeles. Abercrombie, a veteran British stage and screen actor whose TV roles included Elaine’s boss Mr. Pitt on "Seinfeld" and Professor Crumbs on “Wizards of Waverly Place,” died Thursday, Jan. 22, 2012 at a Los Angeles hospital from complications of kidney failure. He was 77. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, file)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ian Abercrombie, a veteran British stage and screen actor whose TV roles included Elaine's boss Mr. Pitt on "Seinfeld" and the voice of Chancellor Palpatine in "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," has died. He was 77.

A website statement from LucasArts said Abercrombie died Friday. A friend, Cathy Lind Hayes, told the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/A6xXRE ) that he died at a Los Angeles hospital from complications of kidney failure and recently had been diagnosed with lymphoma.

"Though he played a villain on our show, you would be hard pressed to meet a kinder person," said Dave Filoni, a supervising director for "Clone Wars." ''He loved to laugh and his sense of humor always lightened our record sessions. I will miss his stories, I will miss his performances, and I will miss his contribution to our show."

Abercrombie began his career as a dancer and made his American stage debut in a 1951 production of "Stalag 17."

He appeared in the film "Army of Darkness" and on such TV shows as "Wizards of Waverly Place" and "Birds of Prey," in which he played Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne's butler.

He also voiced the worldly owl Ambrose in the animated movie "Rango" starring Johnny Depp.