Peter Crombie, known for ‘House of Frankenstein,’ dies at 71

Character actor Peter Crombie, who stole scenes in everything from the cult horror classic House of Frankenstein to the iconic sitcom Seinfeld, has passed away at the age of 71. Crombie’s death was confirmed by his family on Wednesday, though no cause was immediately given.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1952, Crombie began his acting career in the theater before transitioning to film and television. He made his screen debut in the 1974 horror film The Night the Screams Came Home, and quickly found himself landing roles in cult classics like The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) and House of Frankenstein (1990).

While Crombie often played smaller roles, his distinct presence and comedic timing made him a memorable figure on screen. He appeared in numerous television shows throughout his career, including Knight Rider, Murder, She Wrote, and Star Trek: Voyager. However, it was his recurring role as the eccentric Crazy Joe Davola on Seinfeld that truly cemented his place in pop culture history.

Davola, a conspiracy theorist and proprietor of the fictional Joe Davola’s Old-Fashioned Soda Shop, was featured in several memorable Seinfeld episodes, including The Soup Nazi, The Opposite, and The Bottle Deposit

Crombie’s portrayal of the character was both hilarious and unsettling, perfectly capturing Davola’s blend of paranoia and offbeat charm.

“He was kind of a wild man,” remembered Jerry Seinfeld in a statement. “He brought this incredible energy to the set, and he was always game for anything. He will be missed.”

Crombie continued to act up until his death, appearing in films like The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) and Joker (2019). He is survived by his wife and two children.


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