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The Office Actors You May Not Know Passed Away

Because of the hit sitcom's success on streaming services like Netflix and Peacock, it can be easy to forget that the US version of The Office aired its final episode in 2013, and its cast has moved on to other things. For example, while he's no longer playing Michael Scott, in a sense Steve Carrell's playing even more of a space cadet (though his character has a higher rank) in Space Force. Meanwhile, John Krasinski has stolen Scott's dream of becoming an action star for Amazon Prime's Jack Ryan

But sadly, not everyone who helped forge the unforgettable story of Dunder Mifflin is still with us. Most of the The Office actors who have passed away had smaller recurring roles or even one-offs, but every single one of them filled a memorable role in what's proven to be one of the most successful sitcoms of all time. From those who played the characters who built Dunder Mifflin to those who played the guys and girls working in the warehouse, here are actors from The Office you may not know have passed away.

Ken Howard played Michael Scott's old boss

Ken Howard only appears in person in a single episode of The Office – in season 2's "The Carpet." Howard plays Michael's old boss Ed Truck, who Michael fools into returning to the office by making up a story about an issue with his retirement. The truth is Michael wrongly believes a disgruntled employee has pranked him, and he wants input from Ed. While Howard wouldn't appear again on The Office – outside his old photo with a long-haired Michael — the character would have much farther reach. When Michael learns of Ed's death in season 3's "Grief Counseling," it forces him to consider his own mortality which leads, of course, to a funeral in the parking lot for a dead bird.

Howard's career reached far beyond his one-off on The Office. One of his most well-known appearances was Coach Ken Reeves on the late '70s/early '80s CBS drama The White Shadow. Some years earlier in 1972, he impressed audiences with his award-winning performance as Thomas Jefferson in the musical 1776. Other memorable film roles included parts in RamboMichael Clayton, and J. Edgar

Howard passed away in March 2016 (via THR) of pneumonia complicated by shingles and prostate cancer at 71 years old.

Patrice O'Neal was The Office's "Sea Monster"

When Patrice O'Neal died in November 2011 from complications due to a stroke (via THR), the comedy world lost one of its greats. While O'Neal landed roles in TV shows, films, and even video games, he was best remembered for his hilarious stand-up comedy. His passing at the age of 41 was met with numerous tributes in the entertainment world from actors and fellow comics. 

On The Office, O'Neal had the recurring role of warehouse worker Lonny Collins, aka Sea Monster. O'Neal appears in each of the first three seasons of the sitcom, and in most cases you get the feeling he's saying everything that Craig Robinson's Darryl — who's slightly more diplomatic than Lonny — is trying to not say himself. In season 2's "Boys and Girls," he's more visibly frustrated than most when Michael brings the male office workers to the warehouse and wrecks the place in the process. In the following season's "Safety Training," he humiliates Michael during the training that warns the office workers about depression, calling it "fat butt disease."

Ranjit Chowdry plays a salesman who puts Michael to shame

You may not know the name Ranjit Chowdry, but if you're a fan of The Office, you have to know the name Vikram. Michael meets Vikram when his financial problems push him to get a temporary gig as a telemarketer in season 4's "Money." No matter how good he is at selling paper, Michael just can't get the hang of telemarketing, unlike the former surgeon Vikram who regularly nabs the top salesman position at the Lipophedrine Diet Pill Company. Michael briefly recruits Vikram the following season for the Michael Scott Paper Company in "Dream Team," but leaves when the "investors meeting" (comprised solely Michael's grandmother and her friends) reveals Michael is unprepared. 

With a career on stage, screen, and film dating back to the late '70s, Chowdry was a busy character actor long before he sold diet pills on The Office. Chowdry enjoyed prominent recurring roles like Mr. Singh on Cosby and Dr. Marvin Gudat on Prison Break, and numerous one-offs on shows like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Girls. Chowdry's work was more prolific in his own country, as noted by Indian actor Rahul Khanna in a tweet calling Chowdry "a towering icon of Indian diaspora cinema and a master of his craft."

Chowdry died in April 2020 (via People) after emergency surgery to correct a ruptured ulcer. He was 65 years old. 

John Ingle played one of Dunder Mifflin's founders on The Office

John Ingle only had one appearance on The Office, but if you call yourself a Dunder Mifflin historian, you better remember it, because he played one of the company's founders.

Scared by the warnings from Creed in season 4's "Dunder Mifflin Infinity" that Ryan is going to use his new promotion to move out any older employees, Michael Scott handles the situation the same way he deals with most problems: by calling a confusing conference room meeting. To shame Ryan, Michael invites the elderly Robert Dunder — Dunder Mifflin's surviving co-founder, played by Ingle — to the meeting.

Ingle is best known for playing a character much more ruthless than Robert Dunder. In 1993 he took over the role of cruel patriarch Edward Quartermaine from the late David Lewis on the daytime soap opera General Hospital. Except for a 2004-2006 hiatus, Ingle played Quartermain until 2012. He also voiced Mr. Threehorn, father of Cera, in the Land Before Time films.

Ingle died in September 2012 (via THR) at the age of 84 after a battle with cancer.

Hugh Dane was Dunder Mifflin's security guard and resident blues singer

While he didn't always have many lines of dialogue, Hugh Dane was a memorable part of The Office family as Hank Tate, the security guard for Dunder Mifflin's Scranton office. For example, in season 2's "Drug Testing," it's Hank who swears Dwight into his made-up role on the security team. Hank's the guy whose name no one can remember in season 4's "Night Out" when they stay late and can't get out of the parking lot. Hank's also the guy selling his particularly unimpressive blues CD for Michael's benefit show in season 5's "Crime Aid." 

Dane was a well-known character actor in film and television for years, working in the industry since the early '90s. Some of his more memorable roles outside The Office include appearances in the comedy Bridesmaids and the horror film Joy Ride

Dane passed away from pancreatic cancer in May 2018 (via People) at the age of 75, and his passing inspired numerous online tributes from The Office actors. On Twitter Steve Carrell called Dane a "terrific guy," Mindy Kaling wrote he was "one of the funniest actors ever," and Rainn Wilson named him "one of the greats."