We regret to bring you the news that comedian and actor Rick Ducommun passed away this month on June 12th in a Vancouver hospital, after suffering complications due to diabetes. He was 62 years old.
News of Ducommun’s passing was kept private for the much of the past week, though his wife Leslie Ducommun has since confirmed her husband’s death to the press.
Richard ‘Rick’ Ducommun was born on July 3rd, 1952, in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada, where he grew up on a farm, the son of an entrepreneur. At 14 he left home, hitchhiking across the northern United States before returning to Canada when he was 17. Upon his return he began his career doing stand up, reportedly on a dare. He was well received and began playing more and more clubs around the country. This helped him land the part of Bart on the children’s show called ZigZag, one half of the duo Biff and Bart. Biff and Bart began as a small filler aspect of the show but went on to become the focus of the half-hour program.
His work on the show led to his being tapped by compatriot Alan Thicke to be the announcer on the ultimately ill-fated late-night talk show, Thicke of the Night. This brought Ducommun to Los Angeles where he began playing the comedy clubs there and auditioning for sitcoms and features, landing recurring roles on The Last Precinct and Max Headroom. Finding that his excessive weight was severely limiting the roles he was up for, he shed over 200 pounds, shortly after which he was given the role in The ‘Burbs. While the film was not as successful as was expected, his performance garnered a lot of praise and he found himself working steadily, taking small roles in film and television, including another recurring stint on The Wayans Bros. Years later, he would work with the Wayans again in Scary Movie.
Throughout his career he continued to do stand-up and in 1989 he landed his own HBO special Rick Ducommun: Piece of Mind, which he followed up in 1992 with another HBO special, Hit and Run. Besides his role as neighbor Art Weingartner in Joe Dante’s The ‘Burbs, Rick also appeared in Gremlins 2: The New Batch (also for Dante) as well as such movies as The Last Boy Scout, Die Hard, Groundhog Day and Scream throughout the 1980s and ’90s.
Upon hearing the news of his friend passing Dante posted this RIP message on his Twitter, along with some old photos of Ducommun on-set and some facts about the Canadian star:
RIP Rick Ducommun. pic.twitter.com/52J5wKXToU
— Joe Dante (@joe_dante) June 18, 2015
Rick Ducommun was one of the quintessential workhorse comedians. While he was never a top-lining movie star, his steady work is a testament to his huge talent and his passing will leave an indelible mark on the entertainment industry. We here at Screen Rant would like to express our sincere condolences to his friends and family in this difficult time.
R.I.P. Richard ‘Rick’ Ducommun: July 3rd, 1952 – June 12th, 2015.