Nick Colasanto, 61, who portrayed the lovable bartender "Coach" on the NBC comedy series "Cheers," died Feb. 12 of a heart attack at his home in Los Angeles, a network spokesman said.

Mr. Colasanto was twice nominated for an Emmy as best supporting actor in a comedy for his work on the series. He was also an accomplished director.

The Providence, R.I., native had been a regular on "Cheers," playing the dim-witted, good-natured Coach Ernie Pantusso, a bartender, since the show started in September 1982.

The series, which has twice won the Emmy award for best comedy series, ranked 22nd on the Nielsen ratings last week and has ranked 16th for the year.

Mr. Colasanto's acting credits included dozens of television shows, the motion pictures "Raging Bull" and "Family Plot," and several Broadway plays, including "Across the Board Tomorrow Morning," which earned him a Tony award nomination, and "Hat Full of Rain."

He also directed about 100 episodes of television shows including "Bonanza," "Columbo," "Name of the Game" and "Hawaii Five-0."

Mr. Colasanto, like Ted Danson's character on "Cheers," was a recovered alcoholic.

Mr. Colasanto, who was single, began his acting and directing career in New York, where he moonlighted as a bartender, waiter and dishwasher before heading to Hollywood.