(CNN) — Art Metrano, the comedian best known for his role as merciless police captain Ernie Mauser in two “Police Academy” films, has died at the age of 84.

The actor died of natural causes at his home in Aventura, Florida on Wednesday, his son, Harry Metrano, told The Hollywood Reporter.

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On Thursday, Metrano paid tribute to his father by sharing a carousel of pictures of them together on Instagram.

“Yesterday I lost my best friend, my mentor, my dad. He was and will always be the toughest man I know. I have never met someone who has overcome more adversities than him,” the accompanying caption read.

Art Metrano’s acting career spanned almost three decades after he landed his first acting gig in the 1961 thriller “Rocket Attack U.S.A.”

But his big break came in 1970, when he appeared as a stand-up on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.”

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His most memorable performance was in the 1985 movie “Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment ” as long-suffering police boss Ernie Mauser. He reprised the role a year later with “Police Academy 3: Back in Training.”

In addition to the “Police Academy” franchise, Metrano’s big-screen credits include the 1969 Jane Fonda feature film “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?,” “The Heartbreak Kid” and “History of the World: Part I.”

The Brooklyn-born actor was also familiar face on TV, with guest appearances in shows such as ABC sitcom “Joanie Loves Chachi,” “All in the Family” and “Bewitched.”

In 1989, his acting career was disrupted when he fell off a ladder while working on the roof of his house and broke his neck. He later turned the life-changing experience into a one-man stage show called “Metrano’s Accidental Comedy,” which he performed in a wheelchair and on crutches.

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