John Albert Riley Jr.
December 30, 1935
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||August 19, 2016 (aged 80)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Ginger Lawrence Riley
John Albert Riley Jr. (December 30, 1935 – August 19, 2016) was an American actor, comedian and writer. He was known for playing Elliot Carlin, a chronic psychology client of the main character on The Bob Newhart Show, and for voicing Stu Pickles, one of the parents in the animated Rugrats franchise.
Riley was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Agnes C. Riley (née Corrigan) and John Albert Riley. After attending Saint Ignatius High School and John Carroll University, he served in the U.S. Army.
After being discharged, Riley became a popular radio personality in Cleveland, along with his radio partner and "straight man" Jeff Baxter; The Baxter & Riley Show on WERE (1300 AM) featured not only music but comedy sketches and a slew of offbeat characters that Riley and Baxter voiced. Riley gave up the radio show in the mid-1960s and moved to Los Angeles, where his Cleveland friend Tim Conway helped him obtain work writing comedy sketches, which later led to acting opportunities.
First a semi-regular in the cast of the 1960s sitcom Occasional Wife, a short-lived show on NBC in which he played Wally Frick, Riley was perhaps most famous for playing Elliot Carlin, the neurotic, sour, and selfish patient on The Bob Newhart Show 1972–1978. In 1973, he was cast as Gomez Addams in The Addams Family Fun-House, then in 1979, he starred in ABC's holiday telefilm The Halloween That Almost Wasn't (a.k.a. The Night Dracula Saved The World) as Warren the Werewolf (Wolf Man) of Budapest. Riley then, in 1980, appeared in a comedy special for HBO called The Wild Wacky Wonderful World of Winter. He was a regular cast member in The Tim Conway Show, a comedy-variety show that aired on CBS from March 1980 through late summer 1981, acting in sketch comedy in each episode. In 1985, he reprised his Bob Newhart Show role of Elliot Carlin on St. Elsewhere, and did so again in a 1987 episode of ALF.
Among his other TV credits are multiple appearances on such shows as Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (parodying Lyndon Johnson), M*A*S*H, Barney Miller, Hogan's Heroes, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, One Day at a Time, Gomer Pyle, Diff'rent Strokes, and Night Court. He was also a favorite of Mel Brooks, appearing in several of his films: High Anxiety (1977), History of the World: Part I (1981), To Be or Not to Be (1983), and (cameo only) Spaceballs (1987).
Riley often provided voiceovers for television and radio commercials, most notably in spots for Country Crock margarine. He also voiced the character "P.C. Modem, the computer genius" in radio commercials for CompUSA that aired in the 1990s. In the 1990s and early 2000s, Riley was known for voicing Stu Pickles (father of the main protagonist Tommy) in the animated series Rugrats. The franchise consisted of the TV series, the spin-off All Grown Up! and the film trilogy.
He continued to make guest appearances during the 1990s in popular sitcoms, showing up in episodes of Seinfeld, Son of the Beach, Friends, Coach, The Drew Carey Show, That '70s Show, and, in a gag appearance, as an unnamed but obvious Mr. Carlin in a 1988 episode of Newhart. He made a cameo appearance on the November 23, 2013, episode of Saturday Night Live, as a subway passenger during the sketch "Matchbox 3". That episode would be his final acting role.
|1962||Days of Wine and Roses||Waiter||Uncredited|
|1971||McCabe & Mrs. Miller||Riley Quinn|
|In Broad Daylight||Cab Driver #3||TV movie (uncredited)|
|The Todd Killings||Record Company Executive|
|1973||The Thief Who Came to Dinner||Lab Technician||Uncredited|
|The Long Goodbye||Riley|
|California Split||Second Bartender|
|The World's Greatest Lover||Projectionist|
|High Anxiety||The Desk Clerk|
|1978||Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!||Salesman|
|Christmas Eve on Sesame Street||Citizen||TV movie (uncredited)|
|1979||Mother and Me, M.D.||Evan Murray||TV movie|
|Butch and Sundance: The Early Days||Messenger|
|The Halloween That Almost Wasn't||The Werewolf||TV movie|
|1980||Marriage Is Alive and Well||Owen||TV movie|
|The Wild Wacky Wonderful World of Winter||Store clerk||TV movie|
|1981||History of the World: Part I||Stoned Soldier #2|
|1982||The Rules of Marriage||Herb Gallup||TV movie|
|All Night Radio||Mr. Worthington||TV movie|
|1983||When Your Lover Leaves||Ralph||TV movie|
|To Be or Not to Be||Dobish|
|Night Patrol||Doctor Ziegler|
|1985||Lots of Luck||Marvin||TV movie|
|The History of White People in America||Scientist||TV movie|
|1986||The Christmas Toy||Dad||TV movie (uncredited)|
|The History of White People in America: Volume II||Scientist||TV movie|
|1988||Rented Lips||Herb the Auditor|
|Portrait of a White Marriage||Roy Bloomer|
|1989||Gleaming the Cube||Homeowner|
|C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D.||Wade Williams|
|1992||The Player||Jack Riley|
|1993||A Dangerous Woman||Bandleader|
|Sesame Street Stays Up Late!||Jack||TV movie (uncredited)|
|Venus Envy||Mr. Wood|
|1998||Chairman of the Board||Condom Boss|
|The Rugrats Movie||Stu Pickles|
|2000||Rugrats in Paris: The Movie||Stu Pickles|
|Rugrats: Acorn Nuts & Diapey Butts||Stu Pickles||TV movie|
|2001||Recess: School's Out||Golfer #1|
|The Rugrats: All Growed Up||Stu Pickles||TV movie|
|2003||Rugrats Go Wild!||Stu Pickles|
|2005||McBride: The Doctor Is Out... Really Out||Alex||TV movie|
|2006||Room 6||James Brewster|
|2007||Avenging Angel||Elder||TV movie|
|Occasional Wife||Wally Frick||7 episodes|
|1967||Gomer Pyle: U.S.M.C.||Larry||2 episodes|
|The Flying Nun||Leo||Episode: "Ah Love, Could You and I Conspire?"|
|1968||I Dream of Jeannie||Frank||Episode: "Abdullah"|
|Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In||Himself||5 episodes|
|Hogan's Heroes||Additional Characters||3 episodes|
|1970||Bracken's World||Mr. Jeffrey||Episode: "Whatever Happened to Happy Endings?"|
|Pat Paulsen's Half a Comedy Hour||Himself||Uncredited|
|Love, American Style||Danny|
|The Partridge Family||Corporal Wrzesinski||Episode: "See Here, Private Partridge"|
|The Red Skeleton Hour||Additional Characters||4 episodes|
|1971||The Good Life||Cosgrove||Episode: "One of Our Rolls Is Missing"|
|The Mary Tyler Moore Show||Barry Barlow / Eldon Colfax||2 episodes|
|1972||Getting Together||Mel||Episode: "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"|
|M*A*S*H||Capt. Kaplan||Episode: "Chief Surgeon Who?"|
|The Bob Newhart Show||Elliot Carlin||Main cast|
|1973||Cannon||Programmer||Episode: "Catch Me If You Can"|
|Columbo||Director||Episode: "Candidate for Crime"|
|The Girl with Something Extra||Arthur||Episode: "A Meeting of Minds"|
|1974||Kung Fu||Royal||Episode: "The Gunman"|
|The Snoop Sisters||Ollie Robertson||Episode: "Fear Is a Free-Throw"|
|Happy Days||Officer O'Reilly||Episode: "The Deadly Dares"|
|Police Woman||Joe||Episode: "Anatomy of Two Rapes"|
|The ABC Afternoon Playbreak||Braddock||Episode: "Can I Save My Children?"|
|1975||Barnaby Jones||Norm Ricks||Episode: "Poisoned Pigeon"|
|Harry O||Barney Hamilton / Eddie Stern||2 episodes|
|1976||Good Heavens||Episode: "Mr. Right"|
|Alice||Richard Atkins||Episode: "A Call to Arms"|
|Barney Miller||Robert Lovell / Frederick Clooney||2 episodes|
|1977||The Rockford Files||Adrian Lyman||Episode: "There's One in Every Port"|
|Diff'rent Strokes||Pete / Mr. Crocker / Charles Sutton / Miles Monroe||4 episodes|
|1979||Joe & Valerie||Ed||Episode: "The Wedding Guest"|
|1980||The Tim Conway Show||Episode: "The Night That Dracula Saved The World"|
|Too Close for Comfort||The Hold-Up Man||Episode: "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolfe?"|
|Hart to Hart||Norman Culp||Episode: "'Tis the Season to Be Murdered"|
|1981||Eight Is Enough||Joe Roth||Episode: "Bradfordgate"|
|Ladies' Man||Dunlap||Episode: "Women Need Not Apply"|
|Fantasy Island||Henley||Episode: "Night in the Harem/Druids"|
|1982||Simon & Simon||Dr. Robert P. Medlow||Episode: "Ashes to Ashes, and None Too Soon"|
|Love, Sidney||Tom||Episode: "Patti, the Torch"|
|Family Ties||Earl Quigley||Episode: "Have Gun, Will Unravel"|
|1983||Romance Theatre||Alex||5 episodes|
|9 to 5||Seymour||Episode: "The Oldest Profession"|
|Condo||Hughes||Episode: "Members Only"|
|One Day at a Time||Mr. Gonagin||2 episodes|
|1984||Domestic Life||Deep Throat||Episode: "The Candidates"|
|Faerie Tale Theatre||Sexton / Deacon||Episode: "The Boy Who Left Home to Find Out About the Shivers"|
|The Love Boat||Miles Metcalf||3 episodes|
|Down to Earth||Phil||Episode: "Gone with the Wind"|
|Night Court||Beepo the Clown / Dr. Flick / Jim Wimberly / Warren Wilson / Emil Dutton||7 episodes|
|1985||Riptide||Tiny Tommy||Episode: "Curse of the Mary Aberdeen"|
|ABC Afterschool Specials||Mr. White||Episode: "First the Egg"|
|Silver Spoons||Mr. Snodgrass||Episode: "All the Principal's Men"|
|Washingtoon||Episode: "Episode #1.1"|
|St. Elsewhere||Elliot Carlin||Episode: "Close Encounters"|
|1986||Gimme a Break!||Jack||2 episodes|
|Blacke's Magic||Episode: "It's a Jungle Out There"|
|1987||What a Country!||Agent Warren Yates||Episode: "The Road from Morocco"|
|ALF||Elliot Carlin||Episode: "Going Out of My Head Over You" (uncredited)|
|Throb||Flashback Johnny / Herb||2 episodes|
|Roxie||Leon Buchanan||Main cast|
|1988||Punky Brewster||Snipes||Episode: "Brandon's Commercial"|
|Charles in Charge||Professor Kleeman||Episode: "Trading Papers"|
|Mathnet||Mr. Dwight Ledbetter||Episode: "The Case of the Deceptive Data"|
|Square One Television||Mr. Dwight Ledbetter||Episode: "Episode #2.14"|
|Newhart||Patient||Episode: "I Married Dick"|
|1989||Duet||Fredrick||Episode: "Roll Call"|
|Hard Time on Planet Earth||Episode: "Death Do Us Part"|
|A Fine Romance||Ray Ragalito||Episode: "Th-Th-Th-That's All Folks"|
|1990||My Two Dads||Dave||Episode: "It's My Art, and I'll Die If I Want To"|
|Garfield and Friends||Tyrone||3 episodes|
|1991||Babes||Jack||Episode: "Not Married with Children"|
|Harry and the Hendersons||Leonard||Episode: "Working Stiffs"|
|Rugrats||Stu Pickles / Various Characters||Main Cast; 145 episodes|
|1992||The Tonight Show with Jay Leno||Various Characters|
|Civil Wars||Jack Cort||Episode: "Das Boat House"|
|Evening Shade||Jesse||Episode: "I'll Be Home for Christmas"|
|1993||Family Matters||Wayne||Episode: "The Way the Ball Bounces"|
|Hangin' with Mr. Cooper||Mr. Graves||Episode: "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying"|
|1994||Married... with Children||Wendell||Episode: "Business Sucks"|
|Dave's World||Guy||Episode: "You Can't Always Get What You Want"|
|1995||The Boys Are Back||Bob||Episode: "Searching for Sarah Hansen"|
|Friends||Airline Passenger||Episode: "The One Where Rachel Finds Out"|
|Hudson Street||Howie||Episode: "The Hit Parade"|
|New York Daze||Episode: "The Jacket"|
|1996||Coach||Oliver||Episode: "Just Short of the Goal"|
|The Drew Carey Show||Mr. Jones||Episode: "What the Zoning Inspector Saw"|
|1997||Seinfeld||Rider||Episode: "The Muffin Tops"|
|The Secret World of Alex Mack||Mr. O'Reilly||Episode: "Driving"|
|Touched by an Angel||Leo||Episode: "Sandcastles"|
|George and Leo||Episode: "The Cameo Episode"|
|Baywatch||Episode: "Eel Nino"|
|1998||Mike Hammer, Private Eye||Puff Puff the Bunny||2 episodes|
|Working||Chaplain||Episode: "Armageddon Outta Here"|
|1999||Oh, Grow Up||Harry Tatham||Episode: "Himbo"|
|Son of the Beach||Chappy||10 episodes|
|2003||Lucky||Piney||Episode: "Lie, Cheat & Deal"|
|All Grown Up!||Stu Pickles / Executive||19 episodes|
|2004||That '70s Show||Old Man Shinsky||Episode: "Rip This Joint"|
|2005||Yes, Dear||Mr. Shipley||Episode: "High School Reunion"|
|2009||Easy to Assemble||Jack||Episode: "Bitter is Better"|
|The Garfield Show||Anthony Allwork / Ghost Cat||5 episodes|
|1998||Rugrats Adventure Game||Stu Pickles|
|Rugrats: Search for Reptar|
|The Rugrats Movie||The game tie-in for the movie of the same name.|
|1999||Rugrats: Scavenger Hunt|
|Rugrats: Studio Tour|
|Rugrats: Time Travelers|
|2001||Rugrats: Castle Capers|
|2002||Rugrats: Royal Ransom||Uncredited|
|2003||Rugrats Go Wild!||The game tie-in for the movie of the same name.|
- The Don Rickles Show (1968, 1 episode) – Writer
- The Many Sides of Don Rickles (1970) – Writer
- The Addams Family Fun House (1973) – Writer
- "Cleveland native and comedian Jack Riley has died". WEWS News. August 19, 2016. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
- Venable, Nick (August 19, 2016). "Rugrats And Bob Newhart Show Star Jack Riley Is Dead At 80". Cinema Blend. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
- Agard, Chancellor (August 19, 2016). "Jack Riley, Bob Newhart Show actor, dies at 80". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
- Adams, Erik (October 30, 2012). "When the TV stars of 1979 saved Halloween with a little kitsch". The A.V. Club. Retrieved December 27, 2021.
- "HBO Guide February 1980". HBO. p. 9. Archived from the original on August 29, 2016. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
- Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earl (2003). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946–Present (8th ed.). New York: Ballantine Books. p. 1203. ISBN 978-0345455420.
- Bell, Crystal. "Jack Riley, The Voice of Stu Pickles on Rugrats, Is Dead at 80". MTV News. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
- Pedersen, Erik (August 19, 2016). "Jack Riley Dies: 'Bob Newhart Show' & Mel Brooks Movie Actor Was 80". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
- Adams, Erik (August 19, 2016). "R.I.P. Jack Riley, Bob Newhart patient and Rugrats dad". The A.V. Club. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
- Dean, Paul (October 24, 1993). "The Voice Next Door: A knack for projecting personality over radio waves can be worth a bundle to advertisers. Those who do it best seem like old friends". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
- Barnes, Mike. "Jack Riley, Who Played the Neurotic Eliot Carlin on 'The Bob Newhart Show,' Dies at 80". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
- Skladany, Joey. "Where Are They Now – Voices of 'Rugrats'". Zimbio. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
- Agard, Chancellor (August 19, 2016). "Jack Riley, Voice of Stu Pickles on Rugrats, Dies at 80". People. Retrieved February 7, 2022.