Richard Erdman, a veteran character actor best known for his portrayal of Leonard Rodriguez in the NBC comedy series Community, has died at the age of 93.
Erdman’s passing was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter and later confirmed by Rodriguez’s Community cast mates.
Erdman appeared in 66 episodes of Community, playing Leonard Rodriguez, an elderly attendee of Greendale Community College. He was the leader of a group of students called the “Hipsters” (because they all have hip replacements), and was frequently at the receiving end of insults from younger members of Greendale who would say, “Shut up, Leonard…” followed by a specific critique. His character claimed to be a cast member of the 1925 film, Little Rascal, was rumored to have fought in the Korean War for the North Koreans, and later became host of YouTube channel reviewing food products.
Over the course of his seventy year career, Erdman appeared in more than 160 films, television and theater productions. Other notable credits included The Twilight Zone, The Men, Perry Mason, Cheers, and Murder, She Wrote.
— Ken Jeong (@kenjeong) March 17, 2019
I knew the day we’d have to say goodbye to this lovely man would come sooner than any of us were ready. But knowing that doesn’t make it any easier. 😢 #RichardErdman was JOY walking. Anyone who saw him on @CommunityTV gleeflully stealing every scene he was in knows that’s true💔 https://t.co/oMUKfunOSkAdvertisement
— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) March 17, 2019
In honor of Richard, a page of Shut Up Leonard jokes. pic.twitter.com/MzlBaCnCYQ
— Andy Bobrow (@abobrow) March 17, 2019