John Hostetter, Actor on 'Murphy Brown,' Dies at 69

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John Hostetter

He portrayed the unflappable stage manager on the fictional 'FYI' newsmagazine program at the center of the acclaimed CBS sitcom.

John Hostetter, who played the calm and collected stage manager on the Murphy Brown fictional newsmagazine show FYI, has died. He was 69.

Hostetter died Saturday in Port Orange, Fla., after a long battle with cancer, his family announced.

Hostetter portrayed John the stage manager in 62 of the 247 episodes of the beloved 1988-98 CBS sitcom Murphy Brown, which starred Candice Bergen as a high-strung TV journalist.

When things went awry — and that was often — on the set of FYI, a primetime network program that was broadcast live, it was up to Hostetter's character to keep things on track.

The actor also appeared in small roles in such films as John Landis' Into the Night (1985), Clint Eastwood's Heartbreak Ridge (1986), Beverly Hills Cop II (1987), No Way Out (1987) and Leonard Part 6 (1987), starring Bill Cosby.

He also showed up on such shows as Knight Rider, T.J. Hooker, Simon & Simon, The Golden Girls, Cagney & Lacey, Coach, Matlock, NYPD Blue and Sheena.

Hostetter was born on Oct. 6, 1946, in Brooklyn and raised in Hanover, Pa., where he went to Eichelberger High School. He then attended Catawba College and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte before receiving his master's degree in acting from Cornell University.

Hostetter toured with the National Shakespeare Company before moving to California in 1971.

In 2001, he and his wife Del headed to Florida, where he worked as a visual artist and played harmonica and rhythm guitar in a number of bands.

In addition to his wife of 40 years, survivors include his sister Flora, nephews Chris, Tim and Greg and grand-nephew Alex.

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