Mel Winkler, Actor in 'Devil in a Blue Dress' and 'Doc Hollywood,' Dies at 78

Courtesy It Girl Public Relations
Mel Winkler

He also voiced characters for 'Oswald,' 'The New Batman Adventures' and 'Crash Bandicoot.'

Mel Winkler, a character actor known for his voiceover work and appearances in such films as Devil in a Blue DressDoc Hollywood and Coach Carter, died Thursday. He was 78.

Winkler died peacefully in his sleep of unknown causes at his home in Hollywood, his family announced.

Winkler voiced the levitating guardian mask Aku Aku in Crash Bandicoot video games, Wayne Enterprises businessman Lucius Fox on The WB's The New Batman Adventures and Snow Cone Shop owner Johnny Snowman on Nickelodeon's Oswald

On Broadway, he appeared in The Great White Hope in 1968, in August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone in 1988 and in Neil Simon's Proposals in 1997-98.

Born in St. Louis, Winkler served in the U.S. Army and made his onscreen debut in 1969 as Dr. Simon Harris on the NBC daytime soap opera The Doctors

His résumé also included the films Across 110th Street (1972), Heaven Help Us (1985), Dominick and Eugene (1988), Convicts (1991) and City Hall (1996) and such TV series as The Cosby ShowThe Young RidersStar Trek: VoyagerNYPD Blue and The Shield.

Courtney Benson, a spokeswoman for his family, called Winkler "a consummate professional [who was] always willing to share his knowledge and wisdom on any given subject. His infectious smile and love for family will forever be missed. He was a giant among many."

Survivors include his children, Maury and Mark, and four granddaughters.