Jack Kehler, a prolific character actor, died Saturday from complications due to leukemia at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 75 years old.
Kehler’s death was confirmed by his son, Eddie Kehler.
Born on May 22, 1946, in Philadelphia, Kehler began his acting career at the age of 24 when he began working in the theater. In 1982, Kehler joined Sanford Meisner and Wynn Handman, beginning his tenure as a lifetime member of the Actors Studio.
Shortly after, Kehler moved to Los Angeles, where he began landing supporting roles in film and television. His first screen credit came in 1983 with Michael Laughlin’s sci-fi release “Strange Invaders,” starring Paul Le Mat and Nancy Allen. Kehler is credited as a gas station attendant in the film.
Kehler spent the rest of the 1980s working primarily in television, appearing on “Hill Street Blues,” “Fresno,” “Cagney & Lacey” and “St. Elsewhere.” In the 1990s, Kehler became a colorful presence in action films such as “The Last Boy Scout,” “Wyatt Earp” and “Waterworld.” Kehler also found himself in the cult movie spotlight for his role as the owner of Jeff Bridges’ The Dude in Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1998 crime comedy “The Big Lebowski.”
Kehler continued to work well into his life, with a recurring role on “The Man in the High Castle” and guest appearances on various television series. His most recent credit is as a landlord on the Disney+ series “Love, Victor.” He will star in the crime thriller “The Platinum Loop,” which is currently in post-production.
Beyond screen acting, Kehler also produced a live one-man show with himself.
Kehler is survived by his wife, Shawn Casey; his son, Eddie Kehler; his daughter-in-law, Mari-Anne; and his grandson, Liam.