a list of Lt. Columbo and his antagonists
Peter Michael Falk was born on September 16, 1927, in New York City, New York. At the age of 3, his right eye was surgically removed due to cancer. He graduated from Ossining High School, where he was president of his class. His early career choices involved becoming a certified public accountant, and...
With effortless class and elegant charm, Gene Barry took 50s and 60s TV by storm after a rather lackluster start on the musical stage and in films. Born Eugene Klass in New York City on June 14, 1919, the son of Martin, an amateur violinist, and Eva Klass, an amateur singer, he showed a gift at an early age as a violin virtuoso during adolescence (obviously inherited from his father)...
Academy Award winner Lee Grant was born Lyova Haskell Rosenthal on October 31, 1926 in Manhattan, New York City, to Witia (Haskell), a teacher and actress, and Abraham Rosenthal, an educator and realtor. Her father was of Romanian Jewish descent, and her mother was a Russian Jewish immigrant. Lee made her stage debut at age 4 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City...
Tall, slim and exceedingly good-looking American leading man Robert Culp, a former cartoonist in his teen years, appeared off-Broadway in the 1950s before settling into polished, clean-cut film leads and "other man" supports a decade later. Hitting the popular TV boards in the hip, racially ground-breaking espionage program I Spy
A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Eddie Albert
was a circus trapeze flier before becoming a stage and radio actor. He made his film debut in 1938 and has worked steadily since, often cast as the friendly, good-natured buddy of the hero but occasionally being cast as a villain; one of his most memorable roles was as the cowardly...
Born in Grodek, Poland, Ross Martin grew up on New York City's Lower East Side. He spoke Yiddish, Polish, and Russian before even learning English and later added French, Spanish, and Italian to his amazing repertoire. Despite academic training (and receiving honors in) business, instruction, and law...
Award-winning Canadian actress Susan Clark, born on March 8, 1940, took up acting at an early age (12) in her hometown of Sarnia, Ontario. Her family moved to Toronto around that period of time and she joined the Toronto Children's Players Theatre. Her first professional curtain call took place on the...
Roderick McDowall was born in London, the son of a Merchant Mariner father and a mother who had always wanted to be in movies. He was enrolled in elocution courses at age five and by ten had appeared in his first film, Murder in the Family
, playing Peter Osborne, the younger brother of sisters played by Jessica Tandy
and Glynis Johns
Dark, dashing and coldly handsome with intense, penetrating eyes, Patrick O'Neal was known for walking that fine line between elegant heroics and elegant villainy during his five-decade career. Born in 1927 in Ocala, Florida, and of Irish descent, he served toward the end of WWII with the United States Army Air Corp and...
Ray Milland became one of Paramount's most bankable and durable stars, under contract from 1934 to 1948, yet little in his early life suggested a career as a motion picture actor. Milland was born Alfred Reginald Jones in the Welsh town of Neath, Glamorgan, to Elizabeth Annie (Truscott) and Alfred Jones...
Richard Basehart came to Hollywood in 1947, after beginning an acting career on Broadway. He made his mark in the gritty film-noir classic He Walked by Night
, among others, and proved his versatility in several international productions, most notably in Federico Fellini
's poignant masterpiece La Strada
Comparing this sultry-eyed blonde to Greta Garbo
and Marlene Dietrich
may seem a bit overzealous, but Honor Blackman's stylish allure over the years cannot be denied. One of four children, Blackman was born in London's East End to a statistician father employed with the civil service and a homemaker mother...
Anne Baxter was born in Michigan City, Indiana, on May 7, 1923. She was the daughter of a salesman and his wife, Catherine, who herself was the daughter of Frank Lloyd Wright
, the world-renowned architect. Anne was a young girl of 11 when her parents moved to New York City, which at that time was still the hub of the entertainment industry even though the film colony was moving west...
Leonard Simon Nimoy was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to Dora (Spinner) and Max Nimoy, who owned a barbershop. His parents were Ukrainian Jewish immigrants. Raised in a tenement and acting in community theaters since age eight, Nimoy did not make his Hollywood debut until he was 20, with a bit part in Queen for a Day
and another as a ballplayer in the perennial Rhubarb
Laurence Harvey was a British movie star who helped usher in the 1960s with his indelible portrait of a ruthless social climber, and became one of the decade's cultural icons for his appearances in socially themed motion pictures. Harvey was born Zvi Mosheh Skikne on October 1, 1928 in Joniskis, Lithuania...
Oscar-winning character actor Martin Landau was born on June 20, 1928 in Brooklyn, New York. At age 17, he was hired by the New York Daily News as a staff cartoonist and illustrator. In his five years on the paper, he served as the illustrator for Billy Rose
's "Pitching Horseshoes" column. He also worked for cartoonist Gus Edson
on "The Gumps" comic strip...
Born in Boise City, Oklahoma, Vera Miles attended school in Pratt, Kansas and Wichita, Kansas. The patrician beauty of Miss Miles won her the title of "Miss Kansas" in 1948, leading soon to small roles in Hollywood films and television series. Fame came to the forthright, spirited Miles when she attracted the attention of two master directors...
Balding, quietly-spoken, of slight build and possessed of piercing blue eyes -- often peering out from behind round, steel-rimmed glasses -- Donald Pleasence had the necessary physical attributes which make a great screen villain. In the course of his lengthy career, he relished playing the obsessed...
Jackie Cooper was born John Cooper in Los Angeles, California, to Mabel Leonard, an Italian-American stage pianist, and John Cooper. Through his mother, he was the nephew of actress Julie Leonard
, screenwriter Jack Leonard
, and (by marriage) director Norman Taurog
. Jackie served with the Navy in the South Pacific toward the end of World War II...
John Davis Chandler
Character actor John Davis Chandler was born on January 28, 1935, in Hinton, West Virginia. He was raised in Charleston, West Virginia. Tall and thin, with fair hair, piercing blue eyes, a pale complexion and a nasal, whiny voice, Chandler specialized in portraying mean, neurotic and dangerous villains...
Johnny Cash was born February 26, 1932, in Kingsland, Arkansas, to Carrie Cash (Rivers) and Raymond Cash. He made his first single, "Hey Porter", for Sun Records in 1955. In 1958 he moved to Columbia Records. He had long periods of drug abuse during the 1960s, but later that decade he successfully fought his addiction with the help of singer June Carter Cash...
Although Richard Kiley's rich baritone and strong vocal talent was much in evidence and received due respect with his award of a Tony for "Man of La Mancha", it was little used in his television and movie appearances. Won two Tony Awards as Best Actor (Musical): in 1959 for "Redhead" and in 1966 for his signature role...
Robert Conrad was a graduate of Northwestern University, spending his first few years out of school supporting himself and his family by driving a milk truck and singing in a Chicago cabaret. Conrad befriended up-and-coming actor Nick Adams during this period, and it was Adams who helped Conrad get his first Hollywood work in 1957...
Dick Van Dyke
Dick Van Dyke was born Richard Wayne Van Dyke in West Plains, Missouri, to Hazel Victoria (McCord), a stenographer, and Loren Wayne Van Dyke, a salesman. His younger brother is entertainer Jerry Van Dyke
. His ancestry includes English, Scottish, German, Swiss-German, and Dutch. Although he'd had small roles beforehand...
Though born in America, Irish actor Patrick McGoohan rose to become the number-one British TV star in the 1950s to 1960s era. His parents moved to Ireland when he was very young and McGoohan acquired a neutral accent that sounds at home in British or American dialogue. He was an avid stage actor and...
Robert Francis Vaughn was born on November 22, 1932 at Charity Hospital in New York City, the son of show business parents, Marcella Frances (Gaudel) and Gerald Walter Vaughn. His father was a radio actor and his mother starred on stage. Robert came to the public's attention first with his Oscar-nominated role...
Remote, somewhat morose and, as a result, intriguing, Viennese talent Oskar Werner was born in 1922, not far from the birthplace of "Waltz King" Johann Strauss, and christened Oskar Josef Bschließmayer. His parents divorced when he was fairly young. While growing up, Oskar found performing in school plays helped draw out a deep yearning to act...
Noted these days for his dashing, sporting, jet-setter image and perpetually bronzed skin tones in commercials, film spoofs and reality shows, George Hamilton was, at the onset, a serious contender for dramatic film stardom. Born George Stevens Hamilton in Memphis, TN, on August 12, 1939, the son of gregarious Southern belle beauty Ann (Stevens) Potter Hamilton Hunt Spaulding...
Janet Leigh was the only child of a couple who often moved from town to town. Living in apartments, Janet was a bright child who skipped several grades and finished high school when she was 15. A lonely child, she would spend much of her time at movie theaters. She was a student, studying music and psychology...
Hector Elizondo was born in New York City, New York, where he was raised, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. He is the son of Carmen Medina Reyes and Martín Echevarría Elizondo. Hector is of Basque and Puerto Rican descent, and "Elizondo" means "at the foot of the church" in Basque. His lifestyle in his pre-acting days was as diverse as the roles he plays today...
Salvatore (Sal) Mineo Jr. was born to Josephine and Sal Sr. (a casket maker), who emigrated to the U.S. from Sicily. His siblings were Michael, Victor and Sarina. Sal was thrown out of parochial school and, by age eight, was a member of a street gang in a tough Bronx neighborhood. His mother enrolled him in dancing school and...
Handsome Ricardo Montalban was the epitome of continental elegance, charm and grace on film and television and in the late 1940s and early 1950s reinvigorated the Rudolph Valentino
/ Ramon Novarro
"Latin Lover" style in Hollywood without achieving top screen stardom. Moreover, unlike most minority actors of his time...
William Shatner has notched up an impressive 50-plus years in front of the camera, most recently displaying comedic talent, and being instantly recognizable to several generations of cult television fans as the square-jawed Captain James T. Kirk, commander of the starship U.S.S. Enterprise. Shatner was born in Côte Saint-Luc...
Joyce Van Patten
Adept at both comedy and drama, veteran actress Joyce Van Patten was born in New York City. Prodded by a typically assertive stage mother, Joyce and her equally famous older brother Dick Van Patten
displayed natural talent and did quite well for themselves at an early age. Joyce was auditioning for modeling roles before reaching her first birthday...
Theodore Bikel is one of the most versatile and respected actors and performers of his generation. A master of languages, dialects and accents, he has played every sort of film villain and semi-bad guy imaginable, and always adds depth, dimension and even sympathy to characters that would end up as cardboard cutouts in the hands of lesser actors...
When Ruth Gordon convinced her father, a sea captain, to let her pursue acting she came to New York and studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She acted in a few silents made at Fort Lee, New Jersey, in 1915. She made her Broadway debut in "Peter Pan" as Nibs the same year. The next 20 years she spent on stage...
Louis Jourdan was born Louis Robert Gendre in Marseille, France, to Yvonne (née Jourdan) and Henry Gendre, a hotel owner. He was educated in France, Britain, and Turkey. He trained as an actor with René Simon
at the École Dramatique. He debuted on screen in 1939, going on to play cultivated, polished...
Nicol Williamson was an enormously talented actor who was considered by some critics to be the finest actor of his generation in the late 1960s and the 1970s, rivaled only by Albert Finney
, whom Williamson bested in the classics. Williamson's 1969 "Hamlet" at the Roundhouse Theatre was a sensation in London...
A grand, well-respected actor of stage, film and television, most people think New Zealander Clive Revill is British. Although most people think of the curly, red-haired gent as a comic eccentric best known for his sterling work on the musical stage, he has been highly regarded for his formidable dramatic work in Shakespearean roles...
Anthony Andrews made his West End theater debut at the Apollo Theatre as one of twenty young schoolboys in Alan Bennett
's "Forty Years On" with John Gielgud
. He began his career at the Chichester Festival Theatre in the UK. His theater credits include spells with the New Shakespeare Company - "Romeo and Juliet" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream"...
Fisher Stevens moved from his native Chicago to New York at the age of 13 to pursue an acting career. He tried, unsuccessfully, to get any kind of job and was, he recalls, even rejected as extra for a Crest commercial. When his acting teacher, Dan Fauci
, lost the lease to his teaching studio...
Patrick Nicolas Jean Sixte Ghislain Bauchau was born in Brussels, Belgium. His father, Henry Bauchau, is a noted author, psychoanalyst, and philosopher, while his mother was an educator who also helped operate a publishing company. Coming from an intellectual family, it's not surprising that Bauchau won an academic scholarship to Oxford University...
Buchanan was born June 16, 1957 in Hamilton, Scotland. He worked at a local hotel as a bellhop while still a teenager. By the time he turned 14 his parents, both of whom fought alcoholism, died suddenly. He and his five siblings were left alone and his dreams of moving to the U.S. were put on hold. Buchanan went on to work as a bartender and restaurant manager in Scotland...
James Christopher Read was born on July 31, 1953 and was raised in Schenectady, New York. He gained his first experience as an actor in an amateur production while still in high school, but entered the University of Vermont as a forestry major in 1971. He dropped out of college after a year to work and travel abroad...
Andrew Stevens, President/CEO of Andrew Stevens Entertainment and Stevens Entertainment Group, has produced and/or financed over one hundred and seventy films through his various production and distribution companies. Unique in the motion picture industry, Stevens has functioned in almost every capacity in the entertainment business...
Dark-haired, boyishly good-looking Stephen Caffrey was born to Irish Catholic parents on September 27, 1959, the fifth of seven children in Cleveland, Ohio. Witnessing an older brothers' performance in a school play triggered an early interest and subsequent aptitude for acting, appearing in several...
Gary Hershberger was born April 5, 1964 in Inglewood, California. He was raised in North Hollywood, California and then moved to small town San Marino with his mother, Jane, and his father Richard, a lawyer, and his older sister, Linda. Drawn to the creative arts from an early age, Gary fell in love with theatre...
For decades, Dabney Coleman has often appeared as a smarmy, selfish, nervous person, often with money, who is mostly out for himself. He did such a good job in this type of part that he's made a career of it in film. Dabney Wharton Coleman was born in Austin, Texas, to Mary Wharton (Johns) and Melvin Randolph Coleman...
Rip Torn was born Elmore Rual Torn, Jr. on February 6, 1931 in Temple, Texas. "Rip" is a family name, taken by generations of Torn men and bestowed on Elmore by his father, who was also called "Rip". Torn attended Texas A & M and the University of Texas, where he majored in animal husbandry. Extremely naïf when he was young...
Daniel McDonald was born and raised in New York the youngest of seven children. A life member of the Actors Studio, he has also studied with Paul Curtis of the American Mime Company, The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and with Sanford Meisner
on the island of Bequia, BWI. Daniel has been active on the Broadway stage and was married to 'Mujah Mariani Malehi McDonald' in 1999.
Born in South Amboy, New Jersey, Greg Evigan grew up in Sayreville. While in high school he won acclaim as Cornelius Hackl in Hello Dolly, which won the New Jersey High School Musical Contest. One month after graduating from Sayreville War Memorial High School in 1971, Greg auditioned for and won a part in the Broadway show "Jesus Christ Superstar." He also joined the cast of a touring company...
She was one of the hottest actresses in the 1970s playing neurotic, highly driven women with sex appeal. Life in the 1990s has not been as good. In a much-publicized incident, she was dropped as the lead in the Broadway musical "Sunset Boulevard," and her attempt at starring in a television comedy was an unmitigated bomb.
Claudia Christian does it all, she's an actor, a writer, a musician, a singer, a director and she continues to expand her horizons. Christian made one of her most memorable performances in her feature film debut in the cult classic, The Hidden
, opposite Kyle MacLachlan
. She went on from there to star in over 40 features including Clean and Sober
George Robert Wendt III was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, USA, to Loretta Mary (Howard) and George Robert Wendt, who was a realtor and navy officer. He attended a strict Jesuit prep school and then dropped out of Notre Dame University after a few uneventful years. He worked with the Windy City's famed Second City comedy troupe from 1974-1980...
Billy Connolly was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland. He left school to work in the shipyards becoming a welder and joined the Territorial Army (in the parachute regiment) at around the same time. He developed an interest in folk music, eventually becoming an accomplished banjo player and a member of the band Humblebums with Gerry Rafferty
(later of Baker Street fame)...