Gaynes got his start on Broadway in 1950, according to the Internet Broadway Database. Also a talented singer, Gaynes appeared in musicals and multiple plays.
In perhaps his most recognizable role, Gaynes played the eccentric Commandant Eric Lassard, head of the Metropolitan Police Academy in seven "Police Academy" movies.
In "Punky Brewster," Gaynes played cranky widower and building manager Henry Warnimont. His character's growing relationship with the series' main character, the orphan Punky Brewster, provided much of the series' warmth.
He is survived by his wife, one daughter, one granddaughter and two great granddaughters, Variety Magazine reported.