Actor Bob Einstein, who had a recurring role on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” but gained fame through his creation and portrayal of hapless daredevil Super Dave Osborne, died Wednesday at age 76.
The website Deadline.com reported that Einstein died in Indian Wells, where he resided. He recently had been diagnosed with cancer.
Einstein was the brother of actor/writer Albert Brooks.
“R.I.P. My dear brother Bob Einstein,” Brooks wrote on his Twitter page. “A great brother, father and husband. A brilliantly funny man. You will be missed forever.”
Born Stewart Robert Einstein in Los Angeles, he started out in the entertainment industry as a writer for “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” sharing an Emmy Award with the show’s writing team in 1969. He shared another Emmy in 1977 for his work on the variety series “Van Dyke and Company.”
His career took off with his creation and portrayal of Super Dave Osborne, a stuntman whose daredevil feats typically resulted in spectacular failure. Super Dave appeared in sketches on a variety of television shows, including his own series that spanned five seasons from 1987 to 1991 and a one- season animated series, with Einstein voicing Super Dave.
In recent years, Einstein was featured as recurring character Marty Funkhouser on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and Larry Middleman in the third season of “Arrested Development.”
A wave of condolences came from colleagues and fans of Einstein’s work.
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” star and creator Larry David issued a statement saying, “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.”
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” co-star Jeff Garlin wrote on Instagram, “Long live Super Dave. Long live Marty Funkhouser. I lost my friend today. I loved him. He made me laugh hard. He was supportive. He was a great father, husband and friend. I’m truly heartbroken. My time in this world was made much better by Bob Einstein. An honor to have been his friend.”
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” co-star Richard Lewis wrote on Twitter, “I’m in shock. I knew him forever. (Heart) to his loved ones. His long career is hard to match. His role on `Curb Your Enthusiasm’ was excruciatingly brilliant! Our cast and crew will be devastated. He was so loved. He told me how much he loved LD and Curb. RIP buddy.”
Former Rep. Mary Bono also shared support for Einstein, who previously wrote for her husband Sonny Bono’s variety show, “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour.”
“Very sad to learn of our friend Bob Einstein’s passing,” she wrote on Twitter. “He was a writer/actor for the `Sonny and Cher’ (show) and remained a friend forever, even helping with building the @PSFilmFest. Our kids loved him as the super funny Super Dave. We just loved him, period.”
Writer/comedian/director David Steinberg, who worked with Einstein on the “Smothers Brothers” show and directed him on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” called Einstein “brilliantly funny.”
“Loved every moment working with him on `Curb.’ He was one of a kind,” Steinberg said. “Great loss to the comedy world. We will all miss him so.”
Einstein is survived by his wife Roberta, his daughter Erin, his son- in-law Andrew Dale, his grandchildren Ethan and Zoe, and his brothers Cliff Einstein and Brooks.