As unsung character actors go, Bruce Kirby has had a long and lush career, and, though he was frequently typecast as a detective or some other authoritarian figure, he managed to perform in a diversity of genres. Kirby worked in television since the early days, including two episodes of "The Phil Silvers Show" in the mid-1950s, and has continued acting on into the 20th century, appearing in an episode of "Scrubs" in 2007. His extended stint as one of the few recurring actors on the beloved detective series "Columbo" embodies his longevity: his appearances on the show spanned from the early 1970s to the mid-1990s. His most prolific television run has been, not surprisingly, as a district attorney in the hit drama "L.A. Law". But Kirby has also appeared in more than a dozen comedies. In film, Kirby made his debut as a doctor in the highly regarded 1970 war comedy "Catch-22". One of the only roles of his that garnered popular attention was as Pop Ryan, the father of Matt Dillon's character, a racist LAPD officer, in the Oscar-winning melodrama "Crash", in 2004. Kirby survives his late son Bruno, who achieved greater recognition than his father as a character actor, most memorably as Billy Crystal's sidekick in "City Slickers" and "When Harry Met Sally".