By Robert Simonson
13 Feb 2012
He played the title character's father during the mock soap opera's two seasons on television.
Mr. Bruns was born May 2, 1931, in Pipestone, MN, and attended Yale University’s drama school. He began his career in New York on the stage in the mid-'50s. In 1958, he was well-reviewed in a double bill of Ionesco one-acts at the Sullivan Playhouse. Off-Broadway, he also acted in The Butter and Egg Man, The Moths, A Dream Out of Time and Spitting Image. He made his Broadway debut in 1964 in the political drama The Deputy. He played Pistol in a 1969 ANTA production of Henry V staring Len Cariou as the young king. He also acted in the flop 1970 musical Blood Red Roses and a 1972 revival of Lysistrata.
He began appearing on television in the early '60s. Mr. Bruns was a regular on Jackie Gleason's comedy-variety show "American Scene Magazine." Thereafter, he did regular guest work on a wide array of television series, both dramatic and comedic. His films included "The Out of Towners," "Nickelodeon," "The Stunt Man," and "Flashdance."
He is survived by his wife, actress Laurie Franks.