Peter Scolari’s Emmy-winning performance as Hannah’s father, Tad Horvath, can be seen as a personal and professional renaissance. When he joined “Girls,” Scolari was already an established television star. In the early 1980s, he — alongside pre-fame Tom Hanks — starred as one of the titular “Bosom Buddies.” That ABC sitcom was short-lived, but he went on to land a main role in the sitcom “Newhart,” scoring three Emmy nominations along the way. Decades later, Scolari spoke about how excessive substance use and his bipolar diagnosis affected his life, confessing on “Where Are They Now” that using drugs and alcohol as a form of self-medication stunted his growth as an actor. He became sober in his late ’40s.
After “Girls,” Scolari remained on television, mostly in guest roles on popular shows like “Blue Bloods,” “Law & Order: SVU,” and “Fosse/Verdon.” He also appeared on the stage, with The New York Times reporting that he’d acted in the 2018 Off-Broadway drama “The True” with his wife, Tracy Shayne. His final onscreen role was a recurring gig in the Fox drama “Evil” as Bishop Thomas Marx, before his death in 2021 from cancer.
Lena Dunham paid tribute to her late television dad on Instagram, writing in part, “The shyest extrovert, the most dramatic comedian, the most humble icon. You had lived enough life to know that a TV show was just a TV show, but also to appreciate just what it meant to be allowed to play pretend for a living — and you never let us forget that this job was a privilege.”
If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).