June 13, 2024

‘Barefoot in the Park’ star Scoey Mitchell dies at 92

Comedian and actor Scoey Mitchell has died at the age of 92.

Mitchell’s brother confirmed he died Saturday, March 19, of kidney failure during his stay at a healthcare facility in Torrance, California, per The Hollywood Reporter.

“He had a very successful and colorful career during 70s and 80s as an actor, writer and film director,” brother Billy Mitchell wrote on Facebook. “He sacrificed much in the struggle to get blacks behind the camera, into production and into positions that are taken for granted today. Its {sic} important to remember those few that opened up the doors for so many!”

Mitchell is best known for his role as lawyer Paul Bratter opposite Tracy Reed in Neil Simon’s 1970 sitcom Barefoot in the Park, which aired 12 episodes on ABC before being canceled. The series was the first to feature a predominantly Black cast since CBS’ Amos’ n’ Andy in the early 1950s, THR reported. 

The New York native, who was often credited as Scoey Mitchlll, began his career in showbusiness on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1967. He would go on to appear in several game shows and perform stand-up comedy on talk shows such as The Tonight Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, and The Mike Douglas Show

As an actor, his small-screen credits include The Mothers-in-Law, Here Come the Brides, The Carol Burnett Show, That Girl, Police Story, Rhoda, Lou Grant, Taxi, Me & Mrs. C, Voyage of the Yes, Cops, The Joey Bishop Show, 13 East and more. Mitchell’s only big-screen role was portraying Richard Pryor’s father in the 1996 semi-autobiographical film Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling.

In 1972, he hosted his own variety special, The Scoey Mitchlll Show. He was also a staple on game shows such as Match Game, The Hollywood Squares, Password Plus, Super Password and Tattletales, according to THR

His final directing work came with the comedy series 13 East in 1990. Longview News-Journal reported.

Mitchell is survived by his brother Billy and his sister Mary.

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