Ron Leibman
Born(1937-10-11)October 11, 1937
New York City, U.S.
DiedDecember 6, 2019(2019-12-06) (aged 82)
New York City, U.S.
EducationOhio Wesleyan University
Years active1956–2016
  • (m. 1969; div. 1981)
  • (m. 1983)

Ron Leibman (/ˈlbmən/; October 11, 1937[citation needed] – December 6, 2019) was an American actor. He won both the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play in 1993 for his performance as Roy Cohn in Angels in America. Leibman also won a Primetime Emmy Award in 1979 for his role as Martin 'Kaz' Kazinsky in his short-lived crime drama series Kaz.

Leibman appeared in films such as Where's Poppa? (1970), The Hot Rock (1972), Norma Rae (1979), and Zorro, The Gay Blade (1982). Later in his career, he became widely known for his recurring role as Dr. Leonard Green on Friends (1996–2004), and for providing the voice of Ron Cadillac on Archer (2013–2021).

Early life

Leibman was born in Manhattan to Grace (née Marks), who was of Russian-Jewish descent, and Murray Leibman, a Russian Jewish immigrant who worked in the garment business.[1][2] Leibman graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University.[3]


Leibman was a member of the Compass Players in the late 1950s, and was admitted to the Actors Studio shortly thereafter.[4]

Leibman made his film debut alongside George Segal in the dark comedy Where's Poppa? (1970). He then starred alongside Robert Redford and Segal in the heist film The Hot Rock (1972) and he was featured as a northern Jewish union organizer in the award-winning film Norma Rae (1979). In 1980, he appeared in Up The Academy, a "gross-out" comedy set at a reform school.

His other film appearances include Slaughterhouse-Five (1972), Your Three Minutes Are Up (1973) with Beau Bridges and Janet Margolin, Zorro, The Gay Blade (1981), Auto Focus (2002) and Garden State (2004).

Leibman won an Emmy Award, Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series, in 1979[5] for his convict-turned-lawyer character in Kaz (1978–79), a series which he also created and co-wrote.[6] He was later nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for the role of Morris Huffner in Christmas Eve.

He co-starred with his second wife, Jessica Walter, in Tartuffe at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in 1986,[3] and they co-starred again in Neil Simon's play Rumors in 1988 on Broadway.[7] They also appeared together as husband and wife in the film Dummy (2003)[8][9] and in the TV series Law & Order in the episode "House Counsel" in 1995.[10]

Leibman received a 1993 Tony Award for his performance as Roy Cohn in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Angels in America.[11][12]

He played Dr. Leonard Green, Rachel Green's overbearing father, on the sitcom Friends. He had a recurring role on The Sopranos as Dr. Plepler.[8] In 1983, Leibman starred in the Australian film Phar Lap as David J. Davis, the owner of legendary New Zealand/Australian racehorse Phar Lap,[8][13] which won the 1930 Melbourne Cup and the 1932 Agua Caliente Handicap.

In 2013, Leibman began appearing as a recurring character on the TV series Archer as Ron Cadillac, the husband to Malory Archer, voiced by his real-life wife Jessica Walter.[8]

Personal life

Leibman was married twice. His first wife was actress Linda Lavin, to whom he was married from 1969 to 1981.[14][15] In 1983, he married actress Jessica Walter.[3][15]


Leibman died from complications of pneumonia in Manhattan on December 6, 2019, at age 82.[2][16]


This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources in this section. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Ron Leibman" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (December 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)


Year Title Role Notes
1970 Where's Poppa? Sidney Hocheiser Film debut
1972 The Hot Rock Murch
1972 Slaughterhouse-Five Paul Lazzaro [17]
1973 Your Three Minutes Are Up Mike American version of the classic Il Sorpasso (1962)
1974 The Super Cops David Greenberg
1976 Won Ton Ton: The Dog Who Saved Hollywood Rudy Montague
1979 Norma Rae Reuben [17]
1980 Up the Academy Major Vaughn Liceman Uncredited
Nominated – The Stinkers Bad Movie Award for Worst Supporting Actor
1981 Zorro: The Gay Blade Esteban The Stinkers Bad Movie Award for Worst Supporting Actor
The Stinkers Bad Movie Award for Worst On-Screen Couple (shared with Brenda Vaccaro)
1983 Phar Lap Dave Davis
1983 Romantic Comedy Leo
1984 Door to Door Larry Price
1984 Rhinestone Freddie Ugo Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor
1988 Seven Hours to Judgment David Reardon
1996 Night Falls on Manhattan Morgenstern
1999 Just the Ticket Barry the Book
2002 Personal Velocity Arvam Herskowitz Also known as Personal Velocity: Three Portraits
2002 Dummy Lou
2002 Auto Focus Lenny
2004 Garden State Dr. Cohen
2010 A Little Help Warren Dunning


Year Title Role Notes
1956 The Edge of Night Johnny Television debut
1963 The DuPont Show of the Week Carmatti Episode: "Ride with Terror"
1963 Ride with Terror Carmatti Television film
1966 Hawk Eddie Toll Episode: "The Man Who Owned Everyone"
1975 The Art of Crime Roman Grey Television film
1975 Police Story Ray Oberstar Episode: "Vice: 24 Hours"
1977 Martinelli, Outside Man Richie Martinelli Television film
1978 A Question of Guilt Detective Louis Kazinsky Television film
1978–79 Kaz Martin 'Kaz' Kazinsky Series regular [17] / also writer; 23 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
1980 Linda in Wonderland Unknown Television film
1981 Rivkin: Bounty Hunter Rivkin Television film
1985 Comedy Story Joey Caruso Episode: "Side by Side", also writer
1986 Many Happy Returns Jerry Brenner Television film
1986 Christmas Eve Morris Huffner Television film
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television
1987 ABC Afterschool Specials Sam Greene Episode: "Class Act: A Teacher's Story"
1988 Terrorist on Trial: The United States vs. Sam Ajami Simon Resnick Television film
1988 Aaron's Way Unknown Episode: "The Men Will Cheer and the Boys Will Shout"
1990–92 Murder, She Wrote Darryl Heyward / Roland Trent 2 episodes
1991–92 Pacific Station Detective Al Burkhardt Series regular; 13 episodes
1992 Fish Police Voice, episode: "The Codfather"
1995 Duckman Geofredo Episode: "Papa Oom M.O.W. M.O.W."
1995–96 Central Park West Allen Rush Voice, 21 episodes
1995–2000 Law & Order Barry Nathanson / Mark Paul Kopell 2 episodes
1996–2004 Friends Dr. Leonard Green Recurring role; 4 episodes [17]
1996 Rugrats Rabbi / Old Man Voice, episode: "Chanukah"
1997 Don King: Only in America Harry Shondor Television film
1998–2002 Holding the Baby Stan Peterson Series regular; 13 episodes
2001 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Stan Villani Recurring role; 4 episodes
2003 The Practice Attorney Robert Colby Episode: "Concealing Evidence"
2006 The Sopranos Dr. Lior Plepler Recurring role; 3 episodes
2013–21 Archer Ron Cadillac Voice, recurring role; 10 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
1959 Camino Real Kilroy
1959 Legend of Lovers Orpheus
1959 A View From the Bridge Rudolfo
1960 Dead End Unknown
1960 The Premise Unknown
1963 Dear Me, The Sky is Falling Peter Nemo
1963 Bicycle Ride to Nevada Rip Calabria
1964 The Deputy Captain Slazer 316 performances
1965 The Misanthrope Alceste
1965 Uncle Vanya Astrov
1965 End Game Clov
1965 The Critic Mr. Puff
1965 Galileo Unknown
1966–67 Room Service Gordon Miller
1967 The Poker Session Teddy
1967–68 Prometheus Bound Hermes
1967–68 Volpone Mosca
1967–68 The Three Sisters Solyony
1968 We Bombed in New Haven Sergeant Henderson 85 performances
1968 Long Day's Journey into Night Unknown
1969 Cop-Out Performer
1970 Room Service Gordon Miller
1970 Transfers Performer
1975 Love Two Performer
1976 Rich and Famous Various Roles
1976 Julius Caesar Cassius
1977 Richard III Richard III
1980–81 I Ought to Be in Pictures Herb 324 performances
1982 Children of Darkness Count LaRuse
1983 Don Pasquale Don Pasquale
1985 Doubles Lennie 277 performances
1986 Tartuffe Tartuffe
1988–90 Rumors Lenny Ganz 535 performances
1993 Angels in America: Millennium Approaches Roy Cohn Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play
Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play
1994 Angels in America: Perestroika Nominated – Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
1995 The Merchant of Venice Shylock Nominated – Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play
1998 A Dybbuk, or Between Two Worlds Rabbi Azriel Nominated – Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
1999–2000 Adam Baum Sam Baum
2001 A Connecticut Yankee Launcelot
2002 God of Vengeance Jack Chapman


  1. ^ Erens, Patricia (August 22, 1988). The Jew in American Cinema. Indiana University Press. p. 363. ISBN 9780253204936.
  2. ^ a b Genzlinger, Neil (December 6, 2019). "Ron Leibman, Tony Winner for 'Angels,' Is Dead at 82". The New York Times. Retrieved December 7, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Arkatov, Janice. " 'Tartuffe' Stars Aren't Just Acting As A Couple". Los Angeles Times. July 15, 1986.
  4. ^ Ron Leibman at the Wisconsin Historical Society's Actors Studio audio collection.
  5. ^ "Ron Leibman Emmy", retrieved February 19, 2018
  6. ^ Kaz, retrieved February 18, 2018
  7. ^ Rumors Playbill, retrieved February 18, 2018
  8. ^ a b c d "Ron Leibman Credits", retrieved February 18, 2018
  9. ^ Dummy, retrieved February 18, 2018
  10. ^ " 'Law & Order', Season 5, Episode 10", retrieved February 18, 2018
  11. ^ Angels in America: Millennium Approaches Playbill, retrieved February 18, 2018
  12. ^ Lefkowitz, David. "Playbill On-Line's Brief Encounter with Ron Leibman" Playbill, 1999
  13. ^ Phar Lap, retrieved February 18, 2018
  14. ^ Bosworth, Patricia. "Ron Lunt and Linda Fontanne?". The New York Times. May 31, 1970.
  15. ^ a b Johnson, Bonnie (July 16, 1984). "Egg Rolls Brought Ron Leibman and Jessica Walter to the Altar and Left Them Hungry for More". People. He had been divorced in 1981 from actress Linda (Alice) Lavin after a 12-year, childless marriage (she is now married to actor Kip Niven), and Jessica had long since recovered from the 1978 breakup of her 12-year marriage to Ross Bowman,
  16. ^ Koseluk, Chris (December 6, 2019). "Ron Leibman, Actor in 'Angels in America,' 'Where's Poppa?' and 'Friends,' Dies at 82". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  17. ^ a b c d "Friends actor Ron Leibman dies at the age of 82". BBC. 7 December 2019.