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Charles Kimbrough
Charles Kimbrough at the 41st Annual Emmy Awards cropped.jpg
Kimbrough at the 1989 Emmy Awards
Born (1936-05-23) May 23, 1936 (age 88)
Occupation Actor, voice actor
Years active 1951–present
Mary Jane Wilson
(m. 1961⁠–⁠1991)

(m. 2002; her death 2015)

Charles Kimbrough (born May 23, 1936) is an American actor, best known for his role as the straight-faced anchorman Jim Dial on Murphy Brown. In 1990, his performance in the role earned him a nomination for an Emmy Award for "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series".


Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Kimbrough has extensive stage experience. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Kimbrough and his first wife Mary Jane were part of the resident company of the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre where they appeared in such plays as Georges Feydeau's Cat Among the Pigeons and Jules Feiffer's The White House Murder Case. In 1971, he was nominated for a Tony for best featured actor in a musical as Harry in Stephen Sondheim's Company. In 1984, he performed in the original Broadway cast of Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George. He starred in the original Off-Broadway production of A.R. Gurney's comedy Sylvia in 1985.

Around 1976–1977, he appeared in a Chef Boyardee Spaghetti & Meatballs commercial.

In 1988, Kimbrough was cast as Jim Dial, a veteran network news anchor with the integrity and experience of an Edward R. Murrow or Walter Cronkite, on the CBS sitcom Murphy Brown. The series ran for 247 episodes over ten seasons, scoring 17 Emmy Awards and three Golden Globes. Mr. Kimbrough was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in 1990.

He was married to actress and fellow Company castmate Beth Howland, known for her television work as Vera Louise Gorman-Novak on the sitcom Alice. He studied theater and drama at Indiana University Bloomington, and graduated in 1958. He earned a Masters of Fine Arts degree at Yale University's School of Drama. To younger audiences, he is probably best known for supplying the voice of Victor, the most mature gargoyle in Disney's 1996 animated feature The Hunchback of Notre Dame, a role he reprised in its direct-to-video sequel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame II and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.

Kimbrough was part of the cast of the Roundabout Theater Company's 2012 Broadway revival of Mary Chase's Pulitzer prize-winning play Harvey playing William R. Chumley, M.D., with Jim Parsons in the lead as Elwood P. Dowd. The show ran from June 14 to August 5, 2012, at New York's Studio 54 Theatre.

Kimbrough's wife Beth Howland died of lung cancer in December 2015 at the age of 76. Her death was not reported to the media until May 24, 2016. Kimbrough's son, John Kimbrough, founded, sang and played guitar for the St. Paul-based alternative rock band Walt Mink who were active from 1989–1997.

The 2018 revival of Murphy Brown had Kimbrough return playing a retired Jim Dial for a multi-episode arc.


Year Television Role Notes
1975 Kojak Rudy Episode: "A Question of Answers"
Great Performances Dr. Spiga Episode: "The Rules of the Game"
1976 Kojak A.D.A. Greg Burton 2 episodes
1977 Great Performances Benton Arrelsford Episode: "Secret Service"
1981 For Ladies Only Bob Merlis Television movie
1983 Great Performances Editor Episode: "The Innocents Abroad"
1985 Tales of the Unexpected Eric Episode: "Scrimshaw"
1986 Spenser: For Hire Louis Groton Episode: "An Eye for an Eye"
Another World Dr. Abbott Unknown episodes
1988–1998, 2018 Murphy Brown Jim Dial 250 episodes
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
1988 Spenser: For Hire Roger Thornwood Episode: "To the End of the Line"
Hothouse Mr. Austen Episode: "Nancy: Part 1"
1992 Dinosaurs Dr. Ficus Episode: "Germ Warfare"
1994 Mighty Max Dr. Bob Episode: "Scorpio Rising"
1998 Pinky and the Brain Sandy Dreckman Episode: "You'll Never Eat Food Pellets in This Town Again!"
Love Boat: The Next Wave Rich Episode: "Affairs to Remember"
2000 Family Guy Jim Dial Episode: "A Picture Is Worth $1,000 Bucks"
The Angry Beavers Narrator Episode: "Canucks Amuck"
Batman Beyond Gordon Episode: "Out of the Past"
2002 Ally McBeal Charlie Fish Episode: "What I'll Never Do for Love Again"
The Zeta Project Pat Jensen Episode: "On the Wire"
Year Film Role Notes
1976 The Front Committee counselor
1977 The Sentinel Hospital doctor Uncredited
1979 The ... of Joe Tynan Francis
Starting Over Salesman
1980 It's My Turn Jerome
1987 Switching Channels Governor Springfield
1988 The Good Mother Uncle Orrie
1995 Whisper of the Heart Additional Voices (2006 Disney dub)
1996 The Hunchback of Notre Dame Victor Voice
2000 Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins Brain Pod #29
The Land Before Time VII: The Stone of Cold Fire Rainbow Face #1
2001 The Wedding Planner Mr. Donolly
Recess: School's Out Mort Chalk Voice
2002 The Hunchback of Notre Dame II Victor
2003 Marci X Lane Strayfield

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
1996 Disney's Animated Storybook: The Hunchback of Notre Dame Victor Voice-over
The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Topsy Turvy Games
2012 Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
2017 Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue
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