actor Danny Goldman, who played Brainy Smurf in the Hanna-Barbera cartoon “The Smurfs,” died on Sunday in Los Angeles of natural causes. He had reached the age of 80.
Doug Ely, Goldman’s agent, verified the development on Facebook. Ely described the actor as “one of a kind” and chronicled their lengthy acquaintance in a post on his blog.
Please accept my heartfelt condolences, as I must inform you that Danny Goldman has died. After a pair of strokes around New Year’s, he died away quietly at home today surrounded by family and friends,” Ely’s statement adds.
In 1980, I became an agent and Danny began casting on his own for the first time. For the past 40 years, we’ve been best friends. He came to our poker game early on and has even hosted it for the previous 20 years or so, which is quite an accomplishment. For the past 32 years, my friends and I have participated in a baseball rotisserie league. In fact, he won it in his first year as a professional as a rookie. This guy was a huge baseball lover.” He was also a talented actress,” he said.
Goldman was born in New York City in 1939 and attended Columbia University, where he graduated in 1961.
Actor Goldman made his film debut in 1963, when he appeared on “General Hospital.” In 1971, he had a starring part in “The Good Life,” a popular sitcom. Through his long and varied career that spanned six decades, Goldman appeared on numerous television shows such as ‘Criminal Minds,’ ‘The King of Queens,’ ‘Columbo, and dozens more.’
He is most remembered for playing Brainy Smurf, a haughty yet amiable bookworm, in the Hanna-Barbera cartoon series “The Smurfs.” From 1981 to 1989, Goldman was a regular cast member.
As a precocious medical student, Goldman starred in the opening sequence of the 1974 Mel Brooks comedy “Young Frankenstein,” where he unwittingly provokes Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) into an outburst about his grandfather’s unconventional research.
Ely’s statement adds, “Danny was truly one of a kind.” “He had a lot of strong opinions, and he wasn’t afraid to share them with you.” He had a great sense of humor. He had a soft spot for the underdog and was always willing to lend a hand. He has an enormous heart. Today, we lost a great person. He’ll be sorely missed.