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Darren Criss mourns dad's death: He 'lived an extraordinary life'

April 28 (UPI) -- Darren Criss is mourning the death of his father, Charles William Criss, Jr.

The 33-year-old actor paid tribute to his dad in an Instagram post Monday after Charles Criss, who went by Bill Criss, died Sunday at age 78.

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Criss shared a slideshow of photos from throughout his dad's life, including family photos with his mom, Cerina Criss, and his brother, Chuck Criss.

"Bill Criss has left the building," Criss captioned the post. "After many years of coping with a rare heart condition - which, true to his form, very few would have even been aware of- he finally checked out peacefully yesterday morning, surrounded by his loved ones."

Criss said his dad lived an "extraordinary life." He remembered his dad as someone people "instantly" adored and who could talk to "anyone about anything."

"Well-read and well-traveled, he made the world a better place wherever he went. He was as deliriously charming as he was relentlessly selfless; always putting other people first," Criss said. "And although he would have been the first to gracefully protest it, the simple truth is that he was in fact, every inch the exemplary man: a devoted husband, an outstanding father, a loving grandparent."

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"He was a true gentleman through and through, and was a constant source of joy and inspiration for me. I've spent most of my life trying to be like him, wanting to see and do all the incredible things he did- and I'm so grateful he was around to see me actually pull a few off," he added. "I cherished him every day, and will forever."

Criss' former Glee co-stars Matthew Morrison and Max Adler, actor Dylan McDermott and singer Ricky Martin were among those to voice their sympathies in the comments.

"Man, what a king he was. I always felt seen when talking to him. So gentle, so kind, and so invested and proud of his children. The world needs more people like Bill Criss. So sorry for your loss, D. Love you," Morrison wrote.

"Sending love and strength amigo. He always had a smile on his face. Was always supportive, excited, curious, passionate. A legend. He will be missed. Anything you need you know where to find me," Adler said.

Criss is known for playing Blaine Anderson on Glee and Andrew Cunanan in American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace. He stars in Ryan Murphy's new series Hollywood, which premieres Friday on Netflix.

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