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    Ian Abercrombie, Elaine's Boss on Seinfeld, Dies at 77

    Goodbye, Mr. Pitt. You'll be missed.

    Ian Abercrombie, the British actor best known to audiences Stateside for playing Elaine Benes' boss, Mr. Pitt, on Seinfeld, as well as voicing the Emperor in George Lucas' animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars series and film, has died.

    He was 77.

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    Per the Los Angeles Times, Abercrombie passed away Thursday at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from complications of kidney failure after being diagnosed recently with lymphoma.

    While enjoying a successful four-decade career on both stage and screen, it wasn't until he appeared in a seven-episode arc on the sixth season of Seinfeld that Abercrombie became a household name.

    "Incredibly so," Abercrombie told CNN in 1998. "I mean, I have been around as an actor for 40-odd years, and this show knocked me out of the ballpark."

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    Portraying Elaine's hard to please boss, Justin Pitt, the thesp garnered laughs on a weekly basis driving Julia Louis-Dreyfus' character batty—from eating Snickers bars with a knife and fork to his preference for wearing white knee socks. Pitt subsequently canned Elaine after becoming convinced she was trying to off him with Jerry's help.

    "I was a pain in the neck. I was a hypochondriac. I was many things, and I just made her life so miserable," Abercrombie added. "She wouldn't take the salt off my pretzels, you know. She brought me white socks…she did a lot of things for me, but she could never do it right."

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    Born Sept. 11, 1934 in Grays, Essex, England, Abercrombie took to the theater as a boy during World War II before his family moved to the U.S. at 17. In 1955, he made his American stage debut opposite Jason Robards in a production of Stalag 17. After a short stint in the army, he went to L.A. to try his hand in television and film.

    Abercrombie subsequently appeared in such movies as The Prisoner of Zenda, The Ice Pirates, Zandalee, Army of Darkness, Addams Family Values, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Mousehunt and Inland Empire. TV work was even more plentiful, with guest shots on Battlestar Galactica, Three's Company, Falcon Crest and Dynasty, as well as parts in the epic TV miniseries War and Remembrance, Cybil, Nip/Tuck and more recently The Wizards of Waverly Place.

    To fanboys, he was famous for voicing Chancellor Palpatine, aka Darth Sidious, in Star Wars: The Clone Wars as well as the character of Ganthet in Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Ambrose in last year's animated hit Rango.

    Abercrombie is survived by his brothers Douglas, Donald and Alex.

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