Herbert "Herb" Edelman (November 5, 1933 – July 21, 1996) was an American actor of stage, film and television. He was twice nominated for an Emmy Award for his television work. One of his best remembered roles the recurring part of Stanley Zbornak, the ex-husband of Dorothy Zbornak on the long-running NBC-TV situation comedy The Golden Girls. He died on July 21, 1996 of emphysema at the age of 62.
Life and career[edit | edit source]
Before becoming an actor, Edelman studied to become a veterinarian at Cornell University, but left during his first year. After serving in the US Army as an announcer for Armed Forces Radio, he enrolled in Brooklyn College as a Theater student, but eventually dropped out. He later worked as a hotel manager and as a taxicab driver. One of his fares was director Mike Nichols, who in 1963 cast Edelman in his breakthrough Broadway role, as the bewildered telephone repairman in Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park.
Edelman reprised his role in the 1967 film version (starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda), and appeared in the movie versions of Simon's The Odd Couple (1968) and California Suite (1978). He also appeared in an installment of the Japanese movie series Otoko wa Tsurai yo in 1979.
Edelman remains best known for his three decades in television, usually as a co-star, recurring character or guest star on The Golden Girls, That Girl, Love, American Style, The Streets of San Francisco, Maude, Cannon, Welcome Back, Kotter, Kojak, Fantasy Island, Cagney & Lacey, and MacGyver, but occasionally in a lead role. He starred in the 1976 children's series Big John, Little John, as well as The Good Guys with Bob Denver (Denver's first series after Gilligan's Island), in 1969. He also appeared with Bill Bixby and Valerie Perrine in Bruce Jay Friedman's Steambath, a controversial PBS dramedy, during 1973. From 1984 to 1988, he had a recurring role on St. Elsewhere. Edelman also appeared in ten episodes of Murder, She Wrote between 1984 and 1995; most frequently appearing as NYPD Lieutenant Artie Gelber. His last role was on an episode of Burke's Law.