Harvey Atkin, Meatballs and Cagney & Lacey actor, dead at 74

Canadian actor Harvey Atkin, who was a regular on hit U.S. dramas Law & Order and Cagney & Lacey, died Monday after a battle with cancer. He was 74.

Genie-nominated actor known for TV and film roles

Canadian actor Harvey Atkin, who appeared in Ivan Reitman's Meatballs and was a regular on U.S. TV hits Law & Order and Cagney & Lacey, has died at the age of 74. (Bob Lasky/Canadian Press)

Canadian actor Harvey Atkin, who was a regular on hit U.S. dramas Law & Order and Cagney & Lacey, died Monday after a battle with cancer. He was 74.

His death was confirmed in a statement by his longtime friend and agent Larry Goldhar.

Atkin's career first took flight in 1979 when Canadian filmmaker Ivan Reitman cast the actor in the summer camp comedy Meatballs, which co-starred Bill Murray, Kate Lynch and Chris Makepeace. His performance as Morty Melnick earned Atkin a Genie nomination.

He appeared regularly as staff sergeant Ronald Coleman in the '80s detective drama Cagney & Lacey opposite Tyne Daly, Sharon Gless and Al Waxman. Atkin was also a regular on Law & Order as Judge Ridenour.

The actor lent his voice talents to a number of animated TV shows, including Jacob Two-TwoThe Ripping Friends and several Super Mario Bros. series.

He had several guest-starring roles in television and film including Ticket to HeavenBeetlejuiceSilver StreakAtlantic City and Barney's Version.

Atkin is survived by his wife Celia, children Lisa and Danny, three sisters and five grandchildren.


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