The actor, who starred in all seven Police Academy films, is praised as “one of the funniest film characters of the 80s”.
George Gaynes – best known for playing the bungling Commandant Lassard in the Police Academy films – has died aged 98.
His daughter Iya Gaynes Falcon Brown confirmed his death to The New York Times, saying he passed away on Monday in North Bend, Washington state.
The Finnish-born actor also played the grumpy foster dad in the 1980s sitcom Punky Brewster.
Co-star Soleil Moon Frye tweeted: “The universe gained a gigantic star. You will be in my heart and soul always & forever. Your little Punky RIP George Gaynes.”
Gaynes also starred in the 1982 comedy Tootsie alongside Dustin Hoffman.
His longtime agent Jonathan Howard described him as a “true gentleman”.
“A sad, sad loss. But he had a really long, great life,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
Gaynes’ final acting role was in the 2003 comedy Just Married, also starring Ashton Kutcher and Brittany Murphy.
He is survived by his wife, actress Allyn Ann McLerie, his daughter and grandchildren.
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