Burton portrayed the father of Martha (Martha Kelly) on the FX comedy Baskets and a character named Philips on the new Fox sitcom The Cool Kids.
A professional musician since he was 11, Burton played the jazz trombone in big bands and on film soundtracks. Nicknamed "Schoolboy" — he used his set breaks to finish his homework — he entered USC at 16 and left with a bachelor's degree in music and a master's degree in sciences.
Burton performed with Peggy Lee, Andre Previn, Nat King Cole, Johnny Ray, Frankie Laine, the Lennie Niehaus Octet and The Ink Spots and was a regular on CBS' The Hoagy Carmichael Show.
He switched to the bass and played in smaller combos after getting lessons from a friend, Charles Mingus.
After Burton wrote a response to a psychology study that claimed musicians were irresponsible, he was invited to pursue graduate studies in the field of psychology and given a full scholarship to Harvard.
Burton became a developmental psychology researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health, did research with psychologist Jean Piaget in Switzerland in 1967 and became a full professor at SUNY Buffalo in moral development and childhood social development.
He toured in the early 1970s with his wife, novelist and screenwriter Gabrielle Burton, as opening speakers for Gloria Steinem, talking about their commitment as parents to defining gender roles and housework more equally.
After leaving his teaching post in Buffalo, he retired to accompany his wife to Los Angeles, where she was working as a screenwriter, and began a new career as an actor.
At 80 years old, Burton and his wife climbed to the base camp of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Survivors include his daughters Maria, Jennifer, Ursula, Gabrielle and Charity; sons-in-law David, Aniruddh, Graeme, Darin and Steve; sister JoDe; and eight grandchildren.
This article originally appeared in THR.com.