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Mark York, who played Billy Merchant in 'The Office,' dies at 55

Mark York, who had been a paraplegic since 1988, played a recurring character on the beloved NBC sitcom. He died in Ohio after a brief and unexpected illness, his family said.
Actor Mark York as property manager Billy Merchant on "The Office."
Actor Mark York as property manager Billy Merchant on "The Office."NBC

Mark York, the actor best known for playing Billy Merchant in “The Office,” has died. He was 55.

Following a brief and unexpected illness, York died early in the morning on May 19 at the Miami Valley Hospital in Ohio. The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office confirmed his death, although the exact cause of death has not been disclosed.

York, who had been a paraplegic since 1988, did not allow his disability to prevent him from having “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,” the actor’s obit said. “He had experienced many travel opportunities and many dreams for the future.”

York was raised in Ohio and graduated from Arcanum High School. After graduating with three majors from Anderson University, he was encouraged to move to California in order to pursue a career in acting. An avid TV and movie fan, the actor picked up a series of television roles on shows including “CSI: NY” and “8 Simple Rules.” He also had an uncredited role in Steven Spielberg’s “A.I. Artificial Intelligence.

The actor’s first appearance as Billy Merchant on “The Office” was during its second season when Michael Scott (Steve Carrell) brings him into the office for a disability-awareness meeting. Billy was the property manager of the Scranton Business Park up until Dwight (Rainn Wilson) buys it from him at the end of the sixth season.

York is survived by his mother, Becky; father, Glenn; three brothers, Brian, Jeff and David; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, relatives and friends.

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