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Mark York, the paraplegic actor best known for portraying Billy Merchant on The Office, has died. York was 55.
A cause of death has not been determined.
York’s Merchant character was the property manager of the Scranton, Pa., office park where fictional paper company Dunder Mifflin was located. Merchant made reoccurring appearances on Seasons 2-5 of the NBC cult classic.
Rainn Wilson, who played Dwight Shrute, paid homage to York on social media after learning of York’s death.
“He was a terrific human, a positive force and a dynamic actor. You will be missed,” Wilson tweeted.
While news of York’s death is just now becoming public, he actually passed away on the “morning of May 19th at Miami Valley Hospital following a brief and unexpected illness,” according to an obituary posted by Kreitzer Funeral Home, located near his hometown of Arcanum, Ohio.
“York had been paraplegic since 1988, when he suffered ‘an almost fatal, life-changing auto accident,'” according to the bio on his personal website. “That near-death experience led him back to school — and into acting,” the New York Post noted.
The obituary added that York “had such an outgoing, uplifting, positive attitude and personality. He always tried to look at what he could accomplish and do, not what he couldn’t do. He had experienced many travel opportunities and many dreams for the future. In the past several years, he had been working as an inventor, and had obtained two patents for his inventions.”
Along with his role in The Office, York also guest starred on CSI: New York and 8 Simple Rules with John Ritter. He also had several in uncredited roles, including in Steven Spielberg’s 2001 film A.I.: Artificial Intelligence and the 1997 indie film Going All the Way, opposite Ben Affleck.