Emmy nominated ‘Murphy Brown’ star, Charles Kimbrough dies, age 86

Feb 06, 2023
Charles Kimbrough's most memorable role came in 1988 when he was cast as veteran news anchor Jim Dial for the CBS sitcom Murphy Brown. Source: Getty

Star of the popular sitcom Murphy Brown, Charles Kimbrough, has sadly passed away at the age of 86 on Wednesday, January 11.

His son, John Kimbrough, recently confirmed his father’s death to The New York Times.

Born May 23, 1936, Kimbrough studied theatre and drama at Indiana University Bloomington, graduating in 1958. He went on to earn a Masters of Fine Arts degree at Yale University’s School of Drama.

Kimbrough began his acting career in the late 1960s and early 1970s with appearances in plays such as Georges Feydeau’s Cat Among the Pigeons and Jules Feiffer’s The White House Murder Case with the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre.

In 1971, he was nominated for a Tony Award for best featured actor in a musical as Harry in Stephen Sondheim’s Company. In 1984, he performed in the original Broadway cast of Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George and in 1985 starred in the original Off-Broadway production of A.R. Gurney’s comedy Sylvia.

Throughout the ’70s, Kimbrough also appeared in a series of Chef Boyardee Spaghetti & Meatballs commercials.

Kimbrough’s most iconic role came in 1988 when he was cast as veteran news anchor Jim Dial for the CBS sitcom Murphy Brown. 

The series ran for 10 seasons and featured 247 episodes, earning 17 Emmy Awards and three Golden Globes. For his role, Kimbrough was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in 1990.

Kimbrough reprised the role in 2018 when the series was revived.

As news broke of Kimbrough’s passing, fans from near and far took to social media to pay tribute to the late star while reflecting on his impressive career.


Kimbrough is survived by his sister, Linda Kimbrough, son, John Kimbrough, and stepdaughter, Holly Howland.

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