Ron Cummins, Veteran Character Actor, Dies at 74

Ron Cummins - Publicity - S 2016
Courtesy of Christy Kluesner

Ron Cummins - Publicity - S 2016

He worked on Broadway as a youngster and then in several films for director Peter Hyams, including 'The Presidio,' 'Narrow Margin' and 'The Relic.'

Ron Cummins, a character actor who appeared in such films as Dog Day Afternoon, Ghostbusters II and Tango & Cash, has died. He was 74.

Cummins died July 1 of complications from relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and chronic myeloid leukemia at a hospice in Canoga Park, Calif., according to his sister, Christy Kluesner.

Cummins appeared for director Peter Hyams in small roles in such films as Busting (1974), The Star Chamber (1983), Running Scared (1986), The Presidio (1988), Narrow Margin (1990) and The Relic (1997).

In Nuts (1987), Cummins played the bailiff who announces the charges against the madwoman portrayed by Barbra Streisand. He was a TV reporter in Dog Day Afternoon (1975) and a cop in the 1989 sequel to Ghostbusters.

His film résumé also included I Will … I Will … For Now (1976), Capricorn One (1977) — like Busting, those films starred Elliott Gould — Billy Jack Goes to Washington (1977), American Gigolo (1980) and The Rundown (2003).

A native of Brooklyn, Cummins studied acting with Sandy Meisner and Betty Cashman, jazz dancing with Eugene Louis Facciuto (Luigi), tap dancing with Ernest Carlos and ballet with the New York City Ballet.

As a youngster, he played Louis, the son of Anna, in the original 1951 Broadway production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I. Cummins later appeared on stage in Damn Yankees, The Music Man and Plaza Suite.

Survivors also include his son Allan, daughter-in-law Debbie, niece Lauren and grandson Justin.

Cummins gave his body to Science Cares for medical research and education, his sister said. Donations in his name can be made to the Motion Picture Television Fund or to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.