“So, how come you don’t care where you are going?”
“Cause how you get there is the worthier part.”
Ron Glass may have been known for his Emmy-nominated role on Barney Miller, but it was his character Shepherd Derrial Book on the fan favorite series Firefly where he won the hearts among sci-fi/fantasy audiences. He passed away Friday at the age of 71.
His agent Jeffery Leavitt released this statement:
It is with a very heavy heart that I confirm the passing of my dear friend and client Ron Glass, Ron passed late last night of respiratory failure. Ron was a private, gentle and caring man. He was an absolute delight to watch on screen. Words cannot adequately express my sorrow.
His fellow cast mates from the series took to social media to express their grief.
Firefly creator Joss Whedon posted a clip on Twitter, calling Glass “my Shepherd” and encouraged fans to donate to the Wooten Center, a youth program Glass worked with for over 20 years.
He got there with grace, humor & enormous heart. He was, among so many other things, my Shepherd. Raise, appropriately, a glass. Rest, Ron. pic.twitter.com/yzPly7TmgE
— Joss Whedon (@joss) November 26, 2016
— Joss Whedon (@joss) November 27, 2016
Jewel Staite, who was in the scene with Glass as Kaylee, posted to Instagram a picture from the set, saying he was someone who remembered details and ask about family, always hugging and laughing till he cried.
This is me acting like an idiot just so I could hear Ron Glass laugh. He was the kind of person that remembered the details, that asked about your family's well-being. He hugged hard and often. He would laugh till he cried at a sick joke and top it with a worse one. He loved a Grey Goose crantini and spilled one on my white jeans in the heat of telling a story, and then just said, "Girl, those were ugly pants anyway." I adored him. Everybody did. I love you, Ron. Can't wait to see you again. "I don't care what you believe. Just believe it."
Nathan Fillion, who played Capt. Mal Reynolds, posted to Instagram the quote from the final scene he shared with Glass in the movie, Serenity.
Alan Tudyk also took to Twitter, and was retweeted by Morena Baccarin, also commenting on his laugh.
Ron Glass was one of the greatest actors to work with. His laugh was beyond infectious and his generosity was ever present. #ripronglass
— alan tudyk (@AlanTudyk) November 26, 2016
Adam Baldwin, who portrayed Jayne, also posted a clip wishing Glass a happy rebirth.
Happy rebirth, dear Ron Glass.
Among the kindest and gentlest souls to have walked this earth with us.https://t.co/rF1bDPxeRa
— Adam Baldwin (@AdamBaldwin) November 26, 2016
Glass was born in Evansville, Indiana and studied drama and literature at University of Evansville. He had roles in the early 70’s on hit shows like Sanford and Son, Hawaii Five-O, and All in the Family. However, it was not until his 1975 portrayal of the dapper and intellectual Detective Ron Harris on Barney Miller that he hit it big. He received an Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy or Variety or Music Series in 1982 but lost to Christopher Lloyd for Taxi.
Later, Glass made appearances on The New Odd Couple as well as The Twilight Zone, Family Matters, and Murder, She Wrote.
One of his last roles Glass worked on after the Firefly 2005 movie, Serenity, was as Dr. Streiten on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, a show Whedon co-created.