Veteran comedian and writer, Albert Brooks, announced on Twitter Wednesday that his older brother, the brilliantly funny Bob Einstein, had passed after a brief battle with cancer. He was 76.
The gravelly-voiced actor, writer and creator of “oddball” characters, had career in show business that spanned more than half a century during which he won two Emmys. He was 76.
“R.I.P. My dear brother Bob Einstein. A great brother, father and husband. A brilliantly funny man. You will be missed forever.”,” he said.
R.I.P. My dear brother Bob Einstein. A great brother, father and husband. A brilliantly funny man. You will be missed forever.
— Albert Brooks (@AlbertBrooks) January 2, 2019
Although Einstein created celebrity stuntman Super Dave Osborne on Late Show with David Letterman, he was better known during the last two decades for playing Larry David’s foil, Marty Funkhouser on the HBO hit series, Curb Your Enthusiasm. He appeared in every season starting in 2004 and most recently 2017.
Einstein was born in Los Angeles in 1942 to actress Thelma Leeds and comedian Harry Einstein. After graduating from Chapman, Einstein went into advertising. When he did a TV performance on a local cable show for a friend, pretending to be the man who installed the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it caught the eye of comedian musician Tom Smothers, who then hired him as a writer on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.
He would then go on to win an Emmy for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and then gain Emmy nominations as a writer on The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour in 1972 and 1974 and two more for writing on Dick Van Dyke’s mid-’70s series Van Dyke and Company.
In 1987, Einstein would eventually gain his own TV variety hour as Super Dave Osborne after appearing as the same character on The Late Show with David Letterman and a sketch comedy show, Bizarre.
He also gained fame as Larry Middleman in the third season of Arrested Development, and in the Hollywood heist George Clooney-led ensemble Ocean’s Thirteen, where he played Matt Damon’s father.
But in his later years, it was Funkhouser that came to define the very funny Einstein.
Larry David, star of Curb Your Enthusiasm, said in a statement: “Never have I seen an actor enjoy a role the way Bob did playing Marty Funkhouser on Curb.
“It was an amazing, unforgettable experience knowing and working with him. There was no-one like him, as he told us again and again. We’re all in a state of shock.”
Cheryl Hines, who plays David’s on-screen ex-wife Cheryl, tweeted her sadness upon hearing the news:
— Cheryl Hines (@CherylHines) January 2, 2019
Variety reports, “Einstein is survived by his wife of more than 40 years, Roberta Einstein, a daughter, and two grandchildren, as well as two brothers, Brooks and older brother Cliff Einstein.”