Ron Glass

Ron Glass

Ron Glass in 2005
Born Ronald Earle Glass
(1945-07-10)July 10, 1945
Evansville, Indiana, U.S.
Died November 25, 2016(2016-11-25) (aged 71)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death Respiratory failure
Alma mater University of Evansville
Occupation Actor
Years active 1972–2014
Known for Detective Ron Harris (Barney Miller),
Shepherd Derrial Book (Firefly and Serenity)

Ronald Earle "Ron" Glass (July 10, 1945 – November 25, 2016) was an American actor. He was known for his roles as literary Det. Ron Harris in the television sitcom Barney Miller (1975–1982), and as the spiritual Shepherd Derrial Book in the 2002 science fiction series Firefly and its sequel film Serenity.

Early life

Glass was born in Evansville, Indiana, the son of Lethia and Crump Glass.[1] Graduating from Saint Francis Seminary in 1964, Glass attended the University of Evansville, where he received a Bachelor of Arts, double majoring in drama and literature. Years later, the university awarded him its Medal of Honor. Glass said in 2007 he knew while he was in college that he wanted to act. With a teacher's encouragement, he performed in a play and went on to an acting career.[2]


Glass in December 2005

Glass made his stage debut at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota before moving to Hollywood. His earliest TV appearances include episodes of Sanford and Son in 1972, an episode of Hawaii Five-O in 1973, an episode of All in the Family in 1973, an episode of The Bob Newhart Show, and episodes of Good Times in 1974. In 1975, he landed the role of Det. Ron Harris in Barney Miller, which ran until 1982. The following season, Glass also co-starred with Demond Wilson on television in the short-lived remake of The Odd Couple, called The New Odd Couple. On December 13, 1985, he played a soul-collecting devil opposite Sherman Hemsley's mathematics professor in an episode of the revived Twilight Zone series. In 1992, he co-starred in the short-lived sitcom Rhythm and Blues, a kind of "black WKRP," playing "the fifth Top" opposite Roger Kabler. In 1996, Glass was cast as uptight history teacher Roland Felcher in NBC sitcom Mr. Rhodes opposite comedian Tom Rhodes. In 1999, he appeared in an episode of NBC sitcom Friends as Ross Geller's divorce lawyer, Russell.

After that, Glass appeared in dozens of television series, including sitcoms such as Family Matters and the series Teen Angel, where he played God's cousin Rod. He had a guest appearance in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Nightingale". He was a series regular in the science fiction series Firefly (2002) and the sequel film Serenity (2005), in which he played Derrial Book, a pseudo-Christian[3] "Shepherd" with a mysterious past. Glass provided the voice of Randy Carmichael for the Nickelodeon series All Grown Up! and Rugrats, and the character Garth in the video game Fable II. In 2008 he appeared in the film Lakeview Terrace alongside Samuel L. Jackson, and starred in the 2010 version of Death at a Funeral as Duncan.


Glass died of respiratory failure on November 25, 2016, at the age of 71.[4][5]



Year Title Role Notes
1974 Crazy World of Julius Vrooder, TheThe Crazy World of Julius Vrooder Quintus
1983 Sound of Sunshine – Sound of Rain Narrator Short film
1988 Deep Space Jerry Merris
1995 Houseguest Dr. Derek Bond
1996 It's My Party Dr. David Wahl
1997 Back in Business Allen Smith
1999 Deal of a Lifetime Mr. Creighton
1999 Unbowed President Duquesne
2001 Recess: School's Out Dr. Lazenby / Tech #2 (voice)
2005 Serenity Shepherd Derrial Book
2008 Lakeview Terrace Harold Perreau
2010 Death at a Funeral Duncan
2012 Strange Frame Philo D Grenman


Year Title Role Notes
1972 Sanford and Son Hucklebuck Episode: "The Card Sharps"
1973 All in the Family Jack Episode: "Everybody Tells the Truth"
1973 Beg, Borrow, or Steal Ray Buren TV film
1973 Shirts/Skins Mr. Brown TV film
1973 Maude Whitnauer Fulton Episode: "Florida's Affair"
1973 Hawaii Five-O J. Paul Episode: "Tricks Are Not Treats"
1973 Bob Newhart Show, TheThe Bob Newhart Show Elevator Repairman Episode: "Fit, Fat and Forty One"
1973 Griff Dietrich Episode: "Elephant in a Cage"
1973 Insight Courtney Rickell Episode: "Reunion"
1974 New Adventures of Perry Mason, TheThe New Adventures of Perry Mason Mark Borden Episode: "The Case of the Tortured Titan"
1974 Change at 125th Street TV film
1974 Good Times Mr. Pearson / Henry Anderson Episodes: "Crosstown Buses Run All Day, Doodah, Doodah",
"The Encyclopedia Hustle"
1974 Sanford and Son Herman Episode: "Once a Thief"
1974 Streets of San Francisco, TheThe Streets of San Francisco Earl Episode: "Rampage"
1975 Let's Switch! LaRue Williams TV film
1975 Insight Courtney Rickell Episode: "Class Reunion"
1975 Foster and Laurie Doctor #2 TV film
1975 When Things Were Rotten Black Knight Episode: "This Lance for Hire"
1975–1982 Barney Miller Det. Ron Harris Regular role (164 episodes)
1976 Streets of San Francisco, TheThe Streets of San Francisco Arlen Washington Episodes: "The Thrill Killers: Part 1 & 2"
1978 Crash Jerry Grant TV film
1981 Hart to Hart Conductor Slattery Episode: "Hartland Express"
1982–1983 New Odd Couple, TheThe New Odd Couple Felix Unger Regular role (18 episodes)
1985 Gus Brown and Midnight Brewster Midnight Brewster TV film
1985 Twilight Zone, TheThe Twilight Zone Demon Episode: "I of Newton"
1986 Perry Mason: The Case of the Shooting Star Eric Brenner TV film
1987 227 Robert Stone Episodes: "The Audit", "There Goes the Building"
1988 Sonny Spoon Episode: "Deuces Wild"
1989 Family Matters Buddy Goodrich Episode: "False Arrest"
1989–1991 Amen Jason Lockwood Episodes: "Witness for the Defense",
"Miracle on 134th Street: Parts 1 & 2",
1991 Adam-12 Logan Mills Episode: "D.A.R.E."
1992 Murder, She Wrote Lt. Hanrahan Episode: "Incident in Lot #7"
1992 Royal Family, TheThe Royal Family Deacon Hudson Episode: "The Sneakin' Deacon"
1992–1993 Rhythm & Blues Don Phillips Main role (13 episodes)
1993 Designing Women Punch Episode: "It's Not So Easy Being Green"
1993 Rugrats Randy Carmichael (voice) TV series
1994 Aladdin Kwanseer (voice) Episode: "Bad Mood Rising"
1996–1997 Mr. Rhodes Ronald Felcher Regular role (17 episodes)
1997 Superman: The Animated Series News Anchorman (voice) Episode: "Blasts from the Past: Part II"
1997 Practice, TheThe Practice Judge Kent Episode: "Reasonable Doubts"
1997–1998 Teen Angel Rod Regular role (17 episodes)
1999 Incognito Marcus Courtland TV film
1999 Twice in a Lifetime Charlie Summers / Charlie Winters Episode: "The Blame Game"
1999 Friends Russell Episodes: "The One Where Ross Hugs Rachel",
"The One Where Joey Loses His Insurance"
2000 Jack & Jill Mr. Small Episode: "Animal Planet: Part 1"
2000 Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane Prof. Bradford Episode: "Too Much Pressure"
2000 Star Trek: Voyager Loken Episode: "Nightingale"
2001 Rude Awakening Joseph Episode: "Ode to Billie and Joe"
2001 Yes, Dear Dr. Bradley Episode: "The Big Snip"
2001 Education of Max Bickford, TheThe Education of Max Bickford Graham Redmond Episode: "Pilot"
2001 Proud Family, TheThe Proud Family The Talking Baby (voice) Episodes: "Spelling Bee", "Makeover"
2002 Firefly Shepherd Derrial Book Main role (13 episodes)
2004 Division, TheThe Division Barry Episode: "Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here"
2004–2008 All Grown Up! Randy Carmichael (voice) Recurring role (12 episodes)
2006 Secret History of Religion: Doomsday – Book of Revelation Reenactor TV film
2006 Secret History of Religion: Knights Templar Reenactor TV film
2006–2007 Shark Judge Stewart Fenton Episodes: "Dr. Feelbad", "Dial M for Monica", "Student Body"
2008 Dirty Sexy Money D.A. Dennis Ford Episodes: "The Star Witness", "The Verdict"
2011 CSI: NY Colby Glass Episode: "To What End?"
2013 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. J. Streiten, MD Episode: "Pilot", "The Magical Place"
2013 Major Crimes Clayton Carter Episode: "There's No Place Like Home" (s02e09)
2014 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Paul Lomax Episode: "Killer Moves"

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2008 Fable II Garth Voice


  1. "Ron Glass Biography (1945–)". Archived from the original on May 3, 2016. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  2. Judyth Piazz (2007-10-25). "Ron Glass – Barney Miller/Serenity chats with Judyth Piazza" (Podcast). Archived from the original on March 25, 2014. Retrieved December 9, 2007.
  3. Whedon, Firefly: The Official Companion Volume One, 166.
  4. Schwartz, Ryan (November 26, 2016). "'Barney Miller' and 'Firefly' Star Ron Glass Dead at 71". Archived from the original on November 27, 2016. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
  5. Rogers, John (November 26, 2016). "Ron Glass, co-star of TV's 'Barney Miller' dead at 71". The News & Observer. Raleigh, North Carolina. Associated Press. Archived from the original on November 27, 2016. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
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