July 24, 2009, 4:07 PM EST
Television actor and radio broadcaster Les Lye died Tuesday in Ottawa at the age of 84, Canadian Television reports. The Toronto-born funny man was best-known for his role as the only grown-up on the popular TV show, "You Can't Do That On Television," which ran from 1979-1990.
On the variety show, he portrayed a series of wacky characters, from a drunken policeman to a cringe-inducing burger shop owner, all foils to the otherwise all-kid cast.
While it was the show that sealed his fame on TV, Lye's career began in radio. After graduating from Lorne Greene's Academy of Radio Arts in 1948, he headed to Ottawa, Canada, where he signed on to work at radio station CFRA. There, he collaborated frequently with Rich Little, and the funny pair even recorded a spoof album called "My Fellow Canadians," according to CTV.
A decade later, Lye jumped to CJOH TV in 1961, where he worked as a freelance writer and performer, creating the show, "Willy & Floyd," which ran for more than 20 years and boasted the likes of Alanis Morissette and Margaret Trudeau as special guests.
Some of those same personalities returned for spots on "You Can't Do That On Television," his next venture. The show, initially broadcast on the local Canadian network, was eventually exported to Nickelodeon, making Lye an iconic figure for the generation that grew up in the early 80s.
The cause of his death is unknown.