Philip Perlman, frequent Cheers barfly turned character actor, has died at 95.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, his daughter, actress Rhea Perlman, said Philip Perlman died in Los Angeles on April 29. Born in Poland, the elder Perlman moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles to be closer to his daughter after he retired from the toy business. Rhea’s Emmy-winning turn as waitress Carla Tortelli on Cheers led to her father’s onscreen career.
Philip “went up to [director] Jimmy Burrows and said, ‘Think I could be an extra?'” Rhea Perlman told THR. “Jimmy said, ‘Sure! Anyone can sit at the bar.'”
That request led to over 30 appearances on the show. After regular Cheers barfly Al Rosen passed away in 1990, Philip Perlman took over Rosen’s token one-liners—and, in one instance, had water splashed in his face, courtesy of his daughter.
Perlman went on to appear in multiple films either starring or produced by Danny DeVito, Perlman’s son-in-law. His resume included Throw Momma From the Train, The War of the Roses, Other People’s Money, Hoffa, Out of Sight, Man on the Moon, Drowning, Mona, Duplex, Marilyn, Hotchkiss, Ballroom Dancing, Charm School and Even Money.
In a 1996 interview, Rhea told EW, “[Philip] considers himself an actor now. We created a monster.”
Philip Perlman’s last onscreen appearance was in a 2006 episode of DeVito’s FX comedy It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.