January 19th, 2013 14:47 EST
Judyth Piazza interviews Actor/Author Rick Lenz on The American Perspective
Hal Erickson of All Movie Guide says Rick Lenz "has steadfastly avoided pigeonholing as a `type,` playing gunslingers, victims, villains, patient husbands, insensitive fools, intellectuals and even a wimpy murder-mystery fanatic in the (Hallmark) remake of Hitchcock`s Shadow Of A Doubt."
One of the workingest actors of the late-20th century, Lenz has starred in movies with Peter Sellers, Walter Matthau, Lauren Bacall and Elizabeth Taylor. He was Goldie Hawn`s boyfriend in Cactus Flower, Melvin`s lawyer in Melvin And Howard and the obsequious journalist in John Wayne`s The Shootist.
On Television, he has guest-starred in recurring roles on Murder, She Wrote, The Practice, Dynasty and more. He was superspy Benjamin Baxter on Fox`s The New Adventures Of Beans Baxter, Eddie Albert`s law partner on a few episodes of Green Acres, and starred with Richard Boone as Police Chief Oliver Stamp on Hec Ramsey in the NBC Mystery Movie rotation.
On various stages, including Broadway, Lenz has starred opposite Jill Clayburgh, Marcia Mason, Tyne Daly, Blythe Danner, Alan Alda and Paul Sorvino. He jumped on the other side of theatrical production and became a successful playwright with his Off-Broadway production Swung in 1979. He followed with Clean As A Whistle (also Off-Broadway) and The Epic Of Buster Friend, which began at the American Shakespeare Theatre, moved to the Lucille Lortell Theatre and was subsequently produced by PBS.
His play So Long, Mr. Broadway was published by Dramatists Play Service and West Coast Plays, and he won Los Angeles Dramalogue Awards for playwriting for both Familiar Places and Last Class. In 2002, Sharon Gless and the late John Ritter performed Lenz` Felony Audition at the Playwright`s Kitchen Ensemble.
All of the actor/playwright`s experiences are recounted in his new gut-wrenchingly honest memoir North of Hollywood (Feb. 15, 2012, Chromodroid Press). The book is a start to his budding career as an author, planning also the debut of his first novel in 2013 called Redeeming Norma Jean.
Originally from Michigan and having acted across the country, Lenz lives in North Hollywood with his wife. They are parents to three children, and have recently become proud grandparents.
100-word version: Rick Lenz has been a working actor almost all his adult life. His acting ranges from the serious to the comedic, and he has been featured in both starring and supporting roles on TV and in film.
In addition to acting opposite many of the entertainment industry`s biggest stars-Peter Sellers, Goldie Hawn and Elizabeth Taylor, to name a few-Lenz is a playwright and artist. North of Hollywood is his first book. He lives there with his wife, and his favorite roles are husband, father and, recently, grandfather.
ON THE WEB
RickLenzAuthor.com, Twitter @RickLenz, Facebook and IMDB