David Birney, who appeared on CBS’ Bridget Loves Bernie and NBC’s St. Elsewhere, debuted in Bridget Loves Bernie, opposite Meredith Baxter. The sitcom portrayed an interfaith marriage between a Jewish taxi driver named Bernie (Birney) and a Catholic schoolteacher named Bridget Fitzgerald (Baxter). The actor has passed away. He was 83 years old.
Birney died at his home in Santa Monica, California. His life partner, Michele Roberge, stated that Alzheimer’s disease was the cause of his death. Birney was born in Washington, D.C. on April 23, 1939, and grew up in Cleveland. His father was an F.B.I. agent, and his mother was a housewife who later became a real estate agent.
Though Birney fared better onstage than on television, his starring role as a doctor in the first season of the medical dramedy St. Elsewhere was one of his biggest successes on the small screen. He did, however, leave the show before the second season began due to a commitment to a Broadway production of Amadeus.
Birney appeared in the feature films Caravan to Vaccarès (1974), Trial by Combat (1976), Bye, See You Monday (1979), and Oh, God! Nightfall (1987), Prettykill (1987), and Book II (1980). (1988). Despite all of his other contributions to entertainment, Birney is best known for his role as Letant in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Letant, a Romulan senator in the 24th century Romulan Empire, supported the attack on the Dominion shipyards as part of the proposed invasion of Cardassian space in the Tears of the Prophets episode of the show. There are many more factoids of Star Trek lore that he is a part of as well.
Birney is survived by his children from a previous marriage, his daughters Kate and Mollie Birney and a son, Peter Baxter; a stepdaughter, Eva Bush, and a stepson, Ted Bush, Baxter’s children from a previous marriage; two grandchildren; and his brothers, Glenn and Gregory. RIP.