Bob Einstein, a character actor best known for his “Super Dave Osborne” character and playing Larry David’s long-time friend/enemy on Curb Your Enthusiasm, died on Wednesday morning in Indian Wells, California, at 76 years old. Deadline reports he had recently been diagnosed with cancer.
“R.I.P. My dear brother Bob Einstein. A great brother, father and husband. A brilliantly funny man. You will be missed forever,” his sibling (and Modern Romance co-star) Albert Brooks tweeted, while Larry David said in a statement, “Never have I seen an actor enjoy a role the way Bob did playing Marty Funkhouser on Curb. It was an amazing, unforgettable experience knowing and working with him. There was no one like him, as he told us again and again.”
Einstein got his start writing on variety shows like The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour and The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, where he won the first of his two Emmys (the other was for Van Dyke and Company). His most famous creation, bumbling stuntman Super Dave Osborne, popped up on numerous programs, including The John Byner Comedy Hour, In Living Color, and WWE Monday Night RAW; Super Dave even had his own eponymous show on Showtime, which lasted from 1987-1991. Einstein was also a late-night mainstay, including an infamous appearance on The Dick Cavett Show.
Perhaps his greatest stunt was having a case against him nearly make it to the U.S. Supreme Court. A Polish group objected to appearance on The Dick Cavett Show in 1972, when Einstein posed as the president of a fake Polish-Defamation League and told a series of offensive jokes. Four years later, the high court refused to hear the case, denying the request for an on-air rebuttal. (Via)
In recent years, Einstein had recurring roles on Curb as Marty Funkhouser (great name) and Arrested Development, where he played surrogate Larry Middleman (even better name), and he’s the only guest to appear twice on Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. The actor is survived by his wife of over 40 years, Roberta Einstein, and their daughter, Erin. Donations in his honor can be made to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.