Bobby Zarem, known for his television, film and stage successes as well as for being part of the “Superflack” television series, died in Southampton, New York last Friday. He was 84 years old.
“He is one of America’s treasures, a great teacher, mentor and passionate and committed activist in the fight for human rights,” said his son Peter.
“Dad was always by my side,” Peter Zarem continued, “even though he had battled dementia for the last 10 years. He was also a voracious reader and fan, ever eager to attend book signings or screenings of books that inspired him. He loved music and was deeply involved in the anti-Trump resistance at the end of his life. He was a heroic person; a role model for all of us who knew him. We want people to know the tremendous love, kindness and dedicated heart he had for the world and for people.”
Bobby Zarem graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1963 and served in the United States Army Signal Corps.
In 1964, he met actress Diane Dibble who would become his first wife. They remained together until Zarem’s death.
He started his acting career with the first of many Broadway productions, 1991’s “Murder On the Orient Express” and TV appearances like “The Equalizer” with Denzel Washington and Scott Bakula, and “Saving Grace” with Holly Hunter.
However, Zarem’s most lasting role will be known for being a member of the second season of HBO’s “Superflack,” a satirical series where he played the role of Lee Francis, “the wacky and compassionate public relations guru in the Public Affairs division of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).”
“Bobby Zarem was a dedicated human rights activist, community leader and mentor,” said Phil Griffin, President and CEO of Public Television Service. “We were thrilled to have him on our PBS stations as a contributor and we are all devastated by his passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. Rest in peace, Bobby.”