Comedian and ‘Police Academy’ star Art Metrano has died aged 84.
The stand-up comedian passed away at his home in Aventura, Florida, on Wednesday (08.09.21) from natural causes, his family have confirmed.
Speaking to TMZ, his son Harry said: "He was and will always be the toughest man I know. I have never met someone who has overcome more adversities than him."
The publication also stated Harry said he didn’t just lose his father, but also his “best friend and mentor”.
Art’s career began in the 60s, but his fame skyrocketed in the 70s when he performed on ‘The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson’ as a hilarious magic act spoof known as The Great Metrano.
The comedian then began working in nightclubs across the US, and bagged slots on famous variety shows including ‘The Dean Martin Show’ and ‘Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In’.
Art made his big screen debut in 1972’s ‘The Heartbreak Kid’, before he went on to play DaVinci in Mel Brooks' ‘History of the World: Part I’, and Uncle Rico on ‘Joanie Loves Chachi’.
The star was then cast as Ernie Mauser in the second and third ‘Police Academy’ movies, which marked his most famous film role to date.
At the height of his career in 1989, Art suffered a severe spinal injury that left him paralysed, but he made a remarkable recovery and turned his story into a one-man stage show titled ‘Metrano’s Accidental Comedy’.
The comedian continued acting until 2001, with his most recent credits including ‘Party of Five’, ‘How Stella Got Her Groove Back’, and ‘Chicago Hope’.
Art is survived by his four children and his second wife, Jamie Metrano.