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Mel Winkler, 'Devil in a Blue Dress' Actor, Dead at 78

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Rest in peace, Mel Winkler. 

The character actor died in his sleep of unknown causes at his home in Hollywood on Thursday, according to multiple reports. He was 78. ET has reached out to Winkler's rep for comment. 

Winkler was born in St. Louis. The U.S. Army veteran made his onscreen debut on NBC's daytime soap opera, The Doctors, in 1969, but was best known for his roles in Devil in a Blue Dress (1995), Doc Hollywood (1991) and Coach Carter (2005). He also spent time on Broadway, appearing in The Great White Hope in 1968, in August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone in 1988 and in Neil Simon's Proposals from 1997 to 1998. 

Mel Winkler at the premiere of
Mark Mainz/Getty Images

The veteran actor's career also included roles on TV shows like The Cosby Show, The Young Riders, Star Trek: Voyager, NYPD Blue and The Shield. He was also a successful voice actor, voicing Aku Aku in Crash Bandicoot video games, Lucius Fox on The WB's The New Batman Adventures and Johnny Snowman on Nickelodeon's Oswald. 

Winkler is survived by his children, Maury and Mark, and four granddaughters. See more on stars we've lost in the video below. 

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