Ron Glass, Star of 'Barney Miller' and 'Firefly,' Dead at Age 71

PHOTO: FILE - In this photo provided by ABC in 1978, actor Ron Glass appears in character as detective Ron Harris in the comedy "Barney Miller." Glass has died at age 71.ABC via AP, File
FILE - In this photo provided by ABC in 1978, actor Ron Glass appears in character as detective Ron Harris in the comedy "Barney Miller." Glass has died at age 71. Glass died Friday, Nov. 25, 2016, of respiratory failure, his agent, Jeffrey Leavett, told The Associated Press on Saturday.

Ron Glass, the actor best-known for his role on the 1970s sitcom "Barney Miller" and the sci-fi series "Firefly," has died at age 71.

In a statement to ABC News, Glass' agent, Jeffrey Leavitt, confirms Glass died Friday night of respiratory failure.

"Ron was a private, gentle and caring man. He was an absolute delight to watch on screen," Leavitt said. "Words cannot adequately express my sorrow."

Born in Indiana, Glass appeared in supporting roles in a number of 1970s TV series before landing his breakout role as the dapper, erudite police Det. Ron Harris on "Barney Miller." He played the character for the show's entire eight-season run, earning an Emmy nomination for the show's final season in 1982.

In 2002, Glass found a new generation of fans playing Shepherd Darriel Book, a preacher traveling with a crew of smugglers in outer space, on the Joss Whedon-created short-lived cult TV series "Firefly." He reprised the role in the spin-off film "Serenity" three years later.

"Castle" star Nathan Fillion, who also starred with Glass in "Firefly," posted a photo on Instagram of Glass with a quote from the show, ending with, "We love you, Ron Glass. Don't go far." Joss Whedon tweeted that Glass had "grace, humor & enormous heart," adding, "He was, among so many other things, my Shepherd."

Off-screen, Glass was a practicing Buddhist.

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