‘Groundhog Day’ actor dies: Rick Ducommun

Published: June 19, 2015

‘Groundhog Day’ actor dies: Rick Ducommun, Rick Ducommun, the comic character actor best known for playing Tom Hanks’ prankster neighbor Art Weingartner in Joe Dante’s “The ‘Burbs,” died June 12 in a hospice in Vancouver surrounded by family. He was 62.

Ducommun, who also was memorable in small roles in such films as “Die Hard” (1988), “Groundhog Day” (1993) and “Scary Movie” (2000), passed away due to a “serious complication from diabetes,” his wife, Leslie Ducommun, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.

Then a relatively unknown stand-up comic, Ducommun beat out SCTV stars Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis to land the part of Ray Peterson’s (Hanks) nosy next-door neighbor Art, who thinks there’s been a murder in the neighborhood, in “The ‘Burbs” (1989), Dante noted on Twitter.

RIP Rick Ducommun. pic.twitter.com/52J5wKXToU

— Joe Dante (@joe_dante) June 18, 2015
Relatively unknown standup comic Rick Ducommon beat out SCTV’s Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis for the part of @tomhanks’ paranoid neighbor.

— Joe Dante (@joe_dante) June 18, 2015
And knocked it out of the park.

— Joe Dante (@joe_dante) June 18, 2015
“Lots of the funniest stuff he says was totally ad-libbed,” the director wrote.

Toward the end of the movie, Ducommun’s character wraps things up for a TV reporter: “I think the message to psychos, fanatics, murderers, nutcases all over the world is, do not mess with suburbanites because, frankly, we’re not going to take it any more. We’re not going to be content just to look after our lawns, wax our cars, paint our houses. We are out to get them.”

A native of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Ducommun shut down the power grid that plunged the Nakatomi Corp. building into darkness in the Bruce Willis-starrer “Die Hard” (1988), and he later appeared again opposite Willis and Damon Wayans in “The Last Boy Scout” (1991).

He played Anna Faris’ father in “Scary Movie” (2000), written by Shawn and Marlon Wayans and directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans, and guest-starred in “The Wayans Bros.” sitcom for the WB Network in the 1990s.


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