Ian Abercrombie, British Stage and Television Actor, Dies at 77 | Playbill

Obituaries Ian Abercrombie, British Stage and Television Actor, Dies at 77
Ian Abercrombie, a British actor of stage, film and television, died in Hollywood, CA, on Jan. 26 of a fatal heart attack. He was 77.

Mr. Abercrombie was born on Sept. 11, 1934, in Grays, Essex, England. He began his career as a dancer during the 1940s, performing in London, Scotland, Holland and Ireland. He moved to the United States aged 17.

He made his American stage debut in 1955 in a production of Stalag 17 with Jason Robards and Jules Munshin. He went on to act in many plays in summer stock, regional and Off-Broadway.

In the late '50s, he went to California for a backers' audition, which led to a long film and television career. His credits included "The Prisoner of Zenda," "Fantasy Island," "Warlock," "Twin Peaks," "Adams Family Values," "The Lost World: Jurassic Park," "Birds of Prey" and "Rango."

He was probably best known to audiences for his role as Mr. Pitt, Elaine Benes' demanding wealthy boss, on the sixth season of "Seinfeld." Among many peculiarities, Mr. Pitt would send Elaine out to buy him white knee socks, and carve his candy bars with a knife and fork.

He also played evil "Stars Wars" emperor Palpatine in the animated "Clone Wars" series and film. His theatrical work included Los Angeles productions of Sweet Prince with Keir Dullea, A Doll's House with Linda Purl, The Arcata Promise with Anthony Hopkins and the one-man show Jean Cocteau — A Mirror Image.

He is survived by his wife, Gladys.

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