Ron Masak, Sheriff on Murder, She Wrote’ and ‘King of Commercials, Dies at 86

Ron Masak, the character actor best known for portraying Sheriff Mort Metzger on “Murder, She Wrote,” died on Thursday. He was 86.

According to a family statement, Masak died of natural causes and was surrounded by his wife, Kay, and six children.

Born in Chicago, Ill. on July 1, 1936, Masak studied theater at Chicago City College and made his acting debut with the Drama Guild in 1954. Throughout the 1960s and ’70s, he would appear in iconic television series such as “The Twilight Zone” (1960), “The Monkees” (1968), “Get Smart” (1968), “I Dream of Jeannie” (1968-69), “Bewitched” (1969-70), “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (1971), “Love Thy Neighbor” (1973), “Police Story” (1975-1978) and “Wonder Woman” (1978).

He hit his big break as Sheriff Mort Metzger on “Murder, She Wrote” in 1985, appearing in over 40 episodes of the beloved series until its end in 1996. During the ’80s and ’90s is also when Masak began to get a reputation as the “King of Commercials,” mainly due to his voiceover work for Vlasic pickles, Rice-A-Roni and others.

Masak also appeared in around 25 feature films, including “Ice Station Zebra” (1968), “Second Effort” (1968), “A Time for Dying” (1969), “Evel Knievel” (1971), “Laserblast” (1978), “Listen to Me” (1989), “The Benchwarmers” (2006) and “Angels on Tap” (2018). According to his IMDb page, Masak was attached to two upcoming projects, “The Curse of the Gorgon” and “Quigley 2,” which was in pre-production.

Masak played an integral role in various charity events over the years, including for Wounded Warriors, Child Help, Susan G. Komen Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Special Olympics and the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon.

He is survived by his wife, Kay, their six children and 10 grandchildren.

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