Charles Kimbrough

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Charles Kimbrough
Charles Kimbrough at the 41st Annual Emmy Awards cropped.jpg
Kimbrough at the 41st Annual Emmy Awards, September 17, 1989
Born (1936-05-23) May 23, 1936 (age 83)
Years active1951– present
Spouse(s) Beth Howland (2002–2015; her death)

Charles Kimbrough (born May 23, 1936) is an American actor known for having played the straight-faced anchorman Jim Dial on Murphy Brown . In 1990, his performance in the role earned him a nomination for an Emmy Award for "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series". [1]



Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Kimbrough has extensive stage experience. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Kimbrough and his first wife Mary Jane were part of the resident company of the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre where they appeared in such plays as Georges Feydeau's Cat Among the Pigeons and Jules Feiffer's The White House Murder Case. In 1971, he was nominated for a Tony for best featured actor in a musical as Harry in Stephen Sondheim's Company . In 1984, he performed in the original Broadway cast of Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George . He starred in the original Off-Broadway production of A.R. Gurney's comedy Sylvia in 1985. [2]

Around 1976-1977, he appeared in a Chef Boyardee Spaghetti & Meatballs commercial.

In 1988, Kimbrough was cast as Jim Dial, a veteran network news anchor with the integrity and experience of an Edward R. Murrow or Walter Cronkite, on the CBS sitcom Murphy Brown . The series ran for 247 episodes over ten seasons, scoring 17 Emmy Awards and three Golden Globes. Mr. Kimbrough was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in 1990.

He was married to actress and fellow Company castmate Beth Howland, known for her television work as Vera Louise Gorman-Novak on the sitcom Alice . He studied theater and drama at Indiana University Bloomington, and graduated in 1958. He earned a Masters of Fine Arts degree at Yale University's School of Drama. To younger audiences, he is probably best known for supplying the voice of Victor, the most mature gargoyle in Disney's 1996 animated feature The Hunchback of Notre Dame , a role he reprised in its direct-to-video sequel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame II and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance . [3]

Kimbrough was part of the cast of the Roundabout Theater Company's 2012 Broadway revival of Mary Chase's Pulitzer prize-winning play Harvey playing William R. Chumley, M.D., with Jim Parsons in the lead as Elwood P. Dowd. The show ran from June 14 to August 5, 2012 at New York's Studio 54 Theatre. [4]

Kimbrough's wife Beth Howland died of lung cancer in December 2015 at the age of 74. Her death was not reported to the media until May 24, 2016. [5] Kimbrough's son, John Kimbrough, founded, sang and played guitar for the St.Paul-based alternative rock band Walt Mink who were active from 1989-1997.

The 2018 revival of Murphy Brown had Kimbrough return playing a retired Jim Dial for a multi-episode arc. [6]


1975 Kojak RudyEpisode: "A Question of Answers"
1975 Great Performances Dr. SpigaEpisode: "The Rules of the Game"
1976 Kojak Assistant D.A. Greg Burton2 episodes
1977 Great Performances Benton ArrelsfordEpisode: "Secret Service"
1981For Ladies OnlyBob MerlisTelevision movie
1983 Great Performances EditorEpisode: "The Innocents Abroad"
1985 Tales of the Unexpected EricEpisode: "Scrimshaw"
1986 Spenser: For Hire Louis GrotonEpisode: "An Eye for an Eye"
1986 Another World Dr. Abbottunknown episodes
1988–1998, 2018 Murphy Brown Jim Dial123 episodes
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
1988 Spenser: For Hire Roger ThornwoodEpisode: "To the End of the Line"
1988 Hothouse Mr. AustenEpisode: "Nancy: Part 1"
1992 Dinosaurs Dr. FicusEpisode: "Germ Warfare"
1994 Mighty Max Dr. BobEpisode: "Scorpio Rising"
1998 Pinky and the Brain Sandy DreckmanEpisode: "You'll Never Eat Food Pellets in This Town Again!"
1998 Love Boat: The Next Wave RichEpisode: "Affairs to Remember"
2000 Family Guy Jim DialEpisode: "A Picture Is Worth $1,000 Bucks"
2000 The Angry Beavers NarratorEpisode: "Canucks Amuck"
2000 Batman Beyond GordonEpisode: "Out of the Past"
2002 Ally McBeal Charlie FishEpisode: "What I'll Never Do for Love Again"
2002 The Zeta Project Pat JensenEpisode: "On the Wire"
1976 The Front Committee counselor
1977 The Sentinel Hospital doctorUncredited
1979 The Seduction of Joe Tynan Francis
1979 Starting Over Salesman
1980 It's My Turn Jerome
1987 Switching Channels Governor Springfield
1988 The Good Mother Uncle Orrie
1995 Whisper of the Heart Additional Voices(2006 Disney dub)
1996 The Hunchback of Notre Dame VictorVoice
2000 Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins Brain Pod #29Voice
2000 The Land Before Time VII: The Stone of Cold Fire Rainbow Face #1Voice
2001 The Wedding Planner Mr. Donolly
2001 Recess: School's Out Mort ChalkVoice
2002 The Hunchback of Notre Dame II VictorVoice
2003 Marci X Lane Strayfield

Video games

1996 Disney's Animated Storybook: The Hunchback of Notre Dame VictorVoice-over
1996 The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Topsy Turvy Games VictorVoice-over
2012 Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance VictorVoice-over
2017 Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue VictorVoice-over

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  1. "Charles Kimbrough". The New York Times .
  2. Sylvia Archived 2015-05-30 at the Wayback Machine Internet Off-Broadway Database, accessed August 1, 2015
  3. Charles Kimbrough and Jason Alexander to debut Kingdom Hearts
  4. "'Harvey' hops its way to Broadway this summer". 2012-06-20.
  5. Grimes, William (May 24, 2016). "Beth Howland, accident prone waitress from the sitcom Alice dies at 74". The New York Times . The New York Times Company . Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  6. Ausiello, Michael (August 5, 2018). "Murphy Brown Boss Focusing Revival 'Through Prism of the Press,' Reveals [Spoiler] Will Return for Arc". TVLine . Retrieved September 28, 2018.