TORONTO – Actor and comedian Rick Ducommun, known for his role in the 1989 film “The ‘Burbs,” has died at age 62, his family said Thursday.
Peter Ducommun said his brother died on June 12 at a Vancouver, British Columbia, hospital after suffering from complications due to diabetes.
Following “The ‘Burbs,” which became a cult classic, Ducommun was featured in “Gremlins 2: The New Batch,” the Bill Murray hit “Groundhog Day” and “Ghost in the Machine.”
Ducommun rose to prominence in the 1980s as a comedian, writer and actor, initially starring in the children’s TV series “Zig Zag,” followed by roles in the T.V. shows “Slickers,” “Amazing Stories,” “Rock ‘N' America” and “The Last Precinct,” a short-lived NBC show.
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Ducommun also played small parts in films, beginning with “No Small Affair.”
After dropping more than 200 pounds, he landed the role of Art Weingartner, the nosey neighbor to Tom Hanks in “The ‘Burbs.”
Despite good reaction to his work, the film was not a success, and Ducommun found himself continuing stand-up comedy with occasional film work, including an appearance in “Blank Check.”
He also acted in “Little Monsters,” “Spaceballs,” “Die Hard,” “The Hunt for Red October,” “The Experts,” “The Last Boy Scout,” “Encino Man,” “Last Action Hero,” and “Scary Movie.”
HBO produced a stand-up comedy special with Ducommun in 1989 called “Rick Ducommun: Piece of Mind,” which was well received, as was the follow-up, “Hit and Run” in 1992. Ducommun was a regular performer on the Comedy Channel, later renamed Comedy Central.
“He was funny, talented and creative,” said Peter Ducommun. “I think what people admired most was his stand-up. He was a comedian’s comedian. Anyone who had the opportunity to see him live, loved his material.”
Born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Rick Ducommun was an avid skateboarder in the 1960s. Peter Ducommun said skateboarding was such a huge part of their lives that they created Skull Skates, a skateboarding accessories company in 1978. Rick Ducommun was heavily involved in the company until his stand-up career starting taking off and he moved to Los Angeles, said his brother.
Peter Ducommun told the Associated Press that his brother stepped away from showbiz after starting a family and lived the last number of years in Vancouver.
He is survived by four children, his ex-wife, two brothers, a sister, and father.