Hoosier native, actor Ron Glass dies at 71

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. –Evansville native, Ron Glass, known for his starring role in the television series, Barney Miller and Firefly, died Friday at age 71.

According to the celebrity news website TMZ, the actor who recently battled health problems, died at his Los Angeles home.

Ronald E. Glass was born in Evansville and graduated from the University of Evansville with a double major in drama and literature.

Glass served as a member at-large of the UE Board of Trustees and was the chairman of the Evansville African American Museum capital campaign.

His Hollywood career began in the early 70’s with appearances in episodes of “Sanford and Son,” “Hawaii Five-O” and “All in the Family.”

From 1975 to 1982, Glass played the intellectual, fashionable detective Ron Harris on the popular television sitcom, Barney Miller.

In 2002, Glass joined the cast of the science-fiction series Firefly as Derrial Book, a spiritual figure with a mysterious past.  In 2005 he brought back the role in the sequel movie, “Serenity.”

Glass remained active in community efforts in Los Angeles and his hometown of Evansville.  He chaired the board of the Al Wooten, Jr. Heritage Center.  Based in Los Angeles, the organization is dedicated to empowering the growth of young people in the community in crisis.

The University of Evansville’s Medal of Honor was award to Glass in 1980.  In 2008 the UE Alumni Association awarded him the Distinguished Alumni Award.

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