By Oliver Gettell
January 12, 2016 at 09:41 PM EST
J. Vespa/WireImage

David Margulies, the veteran character actor known for playing the mayor of New York in the Ghostbusters movies, died Monday afternoon in that city after a long illness. He was 78.

His agent Mary Harden confirmed the news to EW.

As Mayor Lenny Clotch in 1984’s Ghostbusters, Brooklyn-born Margulies delivered the memorable line, “Being miserable and treating other people like dirt is every New Yorker’s God-given right!” He would reprise the role five years later in Ghostbusters II.

Margulies’ other film credits included A Most Violent Year, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, All That Jazz, Celebrity, and Ishtar.

On the small screen, he appeared on several cop shows (Kojak, NYPD Blue, Law & Order) and other dramas (Chicago Hope, The Good Wife), and had a recurring role as Tony Soprano’s lawyer on The Sopranos. One of his last roles was playing Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel in the ABC miniseries Madoff, which is scheduled to air next month.

Margulies was also an accomplished stage actor, performing in such productions as The Iceman Cometh, Angels in America, Hamlet, Conversations With My Father, and Brighton Beach Memoirs.