David Birney has died at the age of 83.
The actor – who was known for starring as struggling writer Bernie Steinberg in 1970s sitcom ‘Bridget Loves Bernie’ – passed away on Friday (29.04.22) after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and his former co-star and ex-wife Meredith Baxter was “very saddened” by his death.
She told PEOPLE: “I was very saddened by the death of David Birney. My heart goes out to our children, Kate, Peter and Mollie. David was a dominant influence in their lives and the loss of him will be deeply felt.”
The ‘St. Elsewhere’ star – who was married to Meredith between 1974 and 1989 – is survived by his partner Michele Roberge and Meredith went on to reach out to her ex-husband’s “life partner.”
She said:” And I send love and support to Michele Roberge, David’s life-partner, who so lovingly cared for him for many, many years.”
The stars played interfaith couple Bridget and Bernie on the short-lived sitcom which caused controversy at the time due to its portrayal of a Jewish man marrying a Catholic woman.
Following the cancellation of the show, David went on to star in Broadway musicals and appeared on shows ‘The Love Boat’, ‘Glitter’ and ‘Murder, She Wrote’ before making his last on-screen appearance back in 2007 with a role on ‘Without a Trace.’
News of his death was first reported by The New York Times and the outlet claimed that – as well as his partner, ex-wife and children – he is also survived by stepdaughter, Eva Bush, and a stepson, Ted Bush as well as two grandchildren.