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Personnage récurrent de Greendale, il est décédé ce samedi à l'âge de 93 ans.

Il apparaissait ici et là, pour se prendre la tête avec Jeff Winger et sa bande. L'acteur Richard Erdman, bien connu pour son rôle récurrent dans Community, est décédé samedi à l'âge de 93 ans. Dans la sitcom phare de NBC, il incarnait Leonard, un étudiant octogénaire de Greendale, aperçu dans 53 épisodes au cours des six saisons (entre 2009-2015).

Au cours de la saison finale, on découvrait d'ailleurs que Leonard fréquentait Greendale depuis 1975.
 
"Je savais que le jour où nous allions devoir dire au revoir à cet homme charmant arriverait plus tôt qu'on ne l'aurait aimé. Mais cela ne rend pas les choses plus faciles", commente Yvette Nicole Brown, son ancienne camarade de Community sur Twitter. 

Ken Jeong a aussi tenu à lui rendre hommage : "Merci de nous avoir bénis avec ton talent". Et bien sûr, Joel McHale aussi s’est souvenu d’Erdman, "un homme bon et drôle… tu vas nous manquer Leonard !"

Finalement, c'est le créateur de Community, Dan Harmon, qui a publié un long message sur Instagram :

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Godspeed, Richard Erdman. TV sometimes orders actors like pizza (I need a person over 6 foot, no beard, etc.). Richard was on a list of men over 80 willing to swim, so he ended up in a Long Beach swimming pool doing ten takes of a line we used the first take of. To me, reprising “Leonard” was ample reward for almost drowning him. Which is why, when he responded to one of my directions with a fart sound, I thought, man, if this guy dislikes drowning, he’s going to hate unemployment. Then the first AD said “Have you seen his imdb entry?” I looked it up. I think from 1944 to that day, there were four or five skipped years. The man had lived a life on camera. Not as a legacy child star, nothing against them, but he’d moved from Oklahoma to California, started acting and simply. Never. Stopped. Fine, I thought, we’ll write fart noises for him. Creatives are leveraged with the currency of “future.” Do what I say and one day you’ll never have to do what anyone says. You only have to believe that lie while you’re sexy. After that, there’s a line of people behind you, you know the trope. But Richard had worked so long that the “line of people” was god damn short. Hence, there were no favors being done on either side. It was like we rented a cabin and gave an old mountain lion some bacon, so he brought us a fish and we just kept living together. That metaphor stops at the fans. Because of the stupid god damn internet that I invented and will now die hating, he spent his last years touched by an audience he’d only ever known as theoretical. I remember driving him in a golf cart across the Paramount lot, most likely to flaunt my empathy to Chevy, and we were talking about the fans. Richard said, “I’ve never experienced anything like this.” I had to laugh and said “Come on. You’ve experienced everything like this.” He said no. He had no reason to lie. He already knew he could make a fart sound to my face. He could get his bacon somewhere else. He was a pro. But I think he had always done it for those hugs he finally got right at the end. Thank you, Richard. Sorry I always put 60 pound weights in your backpack for realism. You’ll thank me at the Emmys.

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