'Murphy Brown's' Pastorelli dead at 49

posted 2004-03-09 15:33:42 by stevemay

LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- Robert Pastorelli, the boxer-turned-actor best known to television audiences as the house painter Eldin on long-running CBS comedy "Murphy Brown," has died, the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office said Tuesday

Pastorelli, 49, was found dead in the bathroom of his Hollywood Hills home Monday afternoon, a coroner's spokesman said. Drug paraphernalia was found on the scene, he added, and an autopsy was to be conducted Tuesday.

The New Jersey-born Pastorelli got into stage acting in the 1970s in productions like "Rebel Without A Cause" but found his greatest fame on "Murphy Brown," painting the house of the title character played by Candice Bergen but never quite finishing his ambitious artistic projects on her walls.

He briefly had his own series, "Double Rush," about the manager of a bicycle messenger service. Most recently, he was cast in the film "Be Cool," a sequel to "Get Shorty."

Syndicated TV entertainment show Access Hollywood, which first reported the actor's death, said his girlfriend died in the same home in early 1999. The two had a daughter.