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Television Sci-Fi

Ron Glass, Firefly's Shepherd Book, Has Died ( 67

Slashdot reader tiqui tells us that Emmy-nominated actor Ron Glass has died. The actor was 71 and the family has not released more details of his death, but Firefly/Serenity fans can follow this link to the Hollywood Reporter for more information.
Firefly creator Joss Whedon posted on Twitter that Glass "got there with grace, humor and enormous heart. He was, among so many other things, my Shepherd. Raise, appropriately, a glass. Rest, Ron." And Nathan Fillion, who played Captain Reynolds on Firefly, posted an appropriate quote on Instagram. ("Shepard, don't move." "Won't go far...")

The actor's Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actor came in 1982, for his role on the long-running TV series Barney Miller. Interestingly, one of Glass's co-stars on that show was Abe Vigoda, who also died earlier this year at age 94 -- a full 34 years after his death was mistakenly reported by People magazine.
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Ron Glass, Firefly's Shepherd Book, Has Died

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  • RIP (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ArtemaOne ( 1300025 ) on Sunday November 27, 2016 @11:07PM (#53374599)
    Kaylee: How come you don't care where you're going? Book: 'Cause how you get there is the worthier part.
    • by rectalfeeding ( 4772217 ) on Monday November 28, 2016 @12:06AM (#53374829)

      Zoe: Preacher, don't the Bible have some pretty specific things to say about killin'?
      Book: Quite specific. It is, however, somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps.

      • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Monday November 28, 2016 @06:48AM (#53376025) Homepage

        The special hell.

        Actually, I think his deleted monologue from Serenity best describes Book's character:

        Lord, I am walking your way. Let me in, for my feet are sore, my clothes are ragged. Look in my eyes, Lord, and my sins will play out on them as on a screen. Read them all. Forgive what you can, and send me on my path. I will walk on, until you bid me rest.

        I'd like to choose a quote that best describes Ron personally, but I don't know what he was really like. Jewel's comments were really touching, though.

  • RIP, Shepherd Book (Score:4, Insightful)

    by willoughby ( 1367773 ) on Sunday November 27, 2016 @11:09PM (#53374603)

    With the combo of his voice and dialog delivery Ron Glass was as unique an actor as any who have received much more recognition. A truly great actor. ...gonna miss ya, fella

  • Barney Miller (Score:5, Informative)

    by tgibson ( 131396 ) on Sunday November 27, 2016 @11:26PM (#53374653) Homepage

    The opening titles []. "Nostalgic" to the older generation. "Old folks liked bland entertainment" to the younger generation. No doubt, one of the best bass lines in a sitcom jingle.

    Glad for the Slashdot story. When I learned he'd died earlier today, I immediately remembered him for Barney Miller but felt uneasy, like I was forgetting something. Firefly, facepalm.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Now they're never going to renew Firefly.

    Fine, I give up. You win Fox, you win!

    I hope you're happy with yourselves.

    • You do recall that the shepherd was killed off in the movie, right?

      • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Monday November 28, 2016 @06:57AM (#53376043) Homepage

        More to the point, there's no point in the timeline where he would need to be included.

          * In any prequel, they wouldn't have met him yet
          * In anything after Serenity, he's dead
          * If they do an in-between, he's reported to have left the ship at the same time as Inara (if I remember correctly), which was right after the series ended. So that event just needs to happen off-camera. We know that Serenity visited him several times, but they don't have to cover any of those visits.

        To me, it seems that the biggest problem with resuming it now is that all of the actors are aging. It sort of puts a limit on when you can fit them into the timeline, especially if you want to do a prequel. I know recasting is the standard approach to that, but I doubt they could come close to the original cast. I mean, can anyone seriously picture anyone other than Nathan Fillion as Mal?

        • I mean, can anyone seriously picture anyone other than Nathan Fillion as Mal?

          No one else in Hollywood is as ruggedly handsome as he is.

        • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

          I mean, can anyone seriously picture anyone other than Nathan Fillion as Mal?

          Ugh. It was the role he was born for. Every time I stumble across Castle I think "Ughh.. this series is so badly written. I wish I was watching Firefly instead."

          Though I could imagine, had Firefly been made 10-15 years later than it was, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau could have been good in that role.

  • I'm going to miss the lighting of the Vigoda. [] I don't understand what happened, they're supposed to live 200 years. :(

  • WKRP in Cincinnati.....

    His best role ever. :(

    • You're probably thinking of Tim Reid, unless Glass had some guest role or was a minor reoccurring character I've forgotten about.
    • by Megane ( 129182 )
      I still always get confused about this too. The first thing I did was check him on Wikipedia because I knew I was going to be wrong. Even worse, the first thing that popped into my head was "Johnny Fever", followed by "oh wait that's wrong, too".
  • by No Longer an AC ( 4611353 ) on Monday November 28, 2016 @01:33AM (#53375165)

    Firefly was good, but there have been very few shows as good as Barney Miller.

    For some reason the scene that comes to mind is when he has arrested a native American for who know what and is booking him and the Indian points out that they introduced us to tobacco. Ron takes a drag off his cigarette and coughs and sarcastically says "Thanks".

    And who can forget when Wojo's girlfriend made hash brownies and the whole squad (except Barney, I think) got stoned?

    An obviously stoned Detective Harris explains Nick's behavior: "Hey, um...Barney. I think he's stoned."

    Barney (examining the brownies): I think there's something in these things! Have you had any?
    Ron (with a big grin on his face): mmm-hmmmm!

    I think they got hash in them, Barney.

    • Don't forget Abe Vigoda's part in that episode. His character, Fish, had a brownie or two, and felt really good. He drags in a young guy that he arrested, and the guy is going on about how the old man chased him down, over rooftops and jumping between buildings. Then Fish finds out there is hash in the brownies, and looks sad. They as him why he's sad, and he says, "It's the first time in years I feel good, and it's illegal."

  • ... they're mostly remembering Barney Miller.

  • This web page [] lists the Firefly cast members. Ron Glass is the only cast member who has died.

    Still, if another Firefly TV show or movie is to be made, they need to make it soon. Actors/actresses get older, and might gain weight or die. If a follow-up show were made today, they'd have to explain why the cast looked so much older.

    Spoiler: (Shepherd Book and Hoban Washburne died in the movie. But something might happen to the other cast members.) /Spoiler

    My favorite actor/actress was Adam Baldwin. He had lots

  • I doubt anybody will remember that episode of the new Twilight Zone but Ron Glass made a slick as hell demon against Sherman Hemsley's potential victim...RIP Mr Glass, thanks for all the great entertainment.
    • Oh, yeah, I was going to mention this one. The constantly changing T-shirt was a nice touch. Ron Glass played the part perfectly.

      Bonus, Hemsley's character eventually comes up with the theologically proper thing to say to a demon. :)

  • 2016 is officially going to the special hell.

I am here by the will of the people and I won't leave until I get my raincoat back. - a slogan of the anarchists in Richard Kadrey's "Metrophage"