Ron Masak Poster


Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (42) | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 1 July 1936Chicago, Illinois, USA
Height 6' 1" (1.85 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Ron Masak (MAY-SACK) was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of a salesman/musician (Floyd L.), and a mother (Mildred), who was a merchandise buyer. Ron attended Chicago City College, and studied theater at both the CCC and the Drama Guild. He made his acting debut with the Drama Guild in Chicago in Stalag 17 in 1954.

During the course of his career, he has starred in 25 feature films and guest starred in some 350 television shows. Perhaps the most beloved character, and the one for which he is most famous, is that of Sheriff Mort Metzger on the hit television series, Murder, She Wrote. Given that he has also been seen and heard in hundred of television and radio commercials (he was named, "King of Commercials" by columnist James Bacon), it is no wonder that he is often introduced as one of America's most familiar faces.

Trained in the classics, Ron has proved to be equally at home on stage or screen with Shakespeare or slapstick. He has played everything from Stanley in Streetcar Named Desire and Sakini in Teahouse of the August Moon to Will Stockdale in No Time For Sergeants and Antony in Julius Caesar. As more proof of his versatility, in one production of Mr. Roberts, he played Ensign Pulver and in another he portrayed Mr. Roberts himself. In his hometown of Chicago, Ron was resident leading man at The Candlelight Dinner Playhouse from 1962 to 1966, never missing a single performance. As with many performers, it was the Army that provided Ron with a platform from which to display his all-around talents for performing, writing and directing. In 1960-61, Ron toured the world doing vocal impressions in the all-Army show entitled Rolling Along. Once again, he never missed a show.

Never one to be pigeonholed, Ron continued to demonstrate his incredible range of talent in such films as Ice Station Zebra, Daddy's Gone A-Hunting, Tora! Tora! Tora!, Evel Knievel, A Time For Dying, Harper Valley PTA, Cops & Roberts and The Man From Clover Grove. It was during Clover Grove that Ron added credits as a lyric writer, as he wrote and sang the title song. He played his first big screen villain starring in No Code of Conduct. Among his many television roles, he starred as Charley Wilson in his own summer series, Love Thy Neighbor, Count Dracula on The Monkees and was submitted for an Emmy nomination for one of his ten starring roles on Police Story. He's been seen on Magnum P.I., Webster and Columbo. His movies of the week include The Neighborhood, In the Glitter Palace, Pleasure Cove, Once An Eagle, The Law and Harry McGraw and Robert Altman's Nightmare in Chicago.

Ron's variety work includes emceeing hundreds of shows for, among others, Kenny Rogers, Diahann Carroll, Alabama, Billy Crystal, The Steve Garvey Classics, Tony Orlando, The Lennon Sisters, Trini Lopez, Connie Stevens, Billy Davis and Marilyn McCoo, The Michael Landon Classics and The Beau Bridges Classics.

Ron is also considered to be the most famous salesman since Willy Loman, as he starred in the four most successful sales motivational films of all time: Second Effort with Vince Lombardi, Time Management with James Whitmore, How to Control Your Time with Burgess Meredith and Ya Gotta Believe with Tommy Lasorda, which Ron wrote and directed. He is a sought after motivational speaker. He has traveled all over the country as spokesman for a major brewing company and for 15 years was the voice of the Vlasic Pickle stork. Ron played Lou Costello in commercials for Bran News, McDonald's, and Tropicana Orange Juice.

Frequently seen on the talk and game show circuit, Ron has been a celebrity panelist on such game shows as Password, Tattletales, Crosswits, Liar's Club, Showoffs and Match Game. He was a regular panelist on To Tell the Truth.

Ron's private life is also one of varied interests and talents, devoting time and energy working with many charities. For eight years he was the LA host for the Jerry Lewis Telethon and recipient of MDA's first Humanitarian of the Year Award. He has served as field announcer for the Special Olympics in support of Special needs children, and was named Man of the Year by Volunteers Assisting Cancer Stricken Families. In addition, he contributes much time to work with Multiple Sclerosis, Cystic Fibrosis, Breast Cancer Awareness and hosts charity golf tournaments for among others, Childhelp USA, for whom he is a worldwide ambassador.

Relaxation for Ron includes time spent with friends on the golf course, tennis court, baseball diamond, ski slopes or at Dodger Stadium. A fine athlete, Ron was once offered a professional baseball contract with The Chicago White Sox.

Future projects include a pilot in the works, called Senior Class. Ron continues his work to star as Mark Twain in the feature film, Mark Twain's Greatest Adventure, which he will co-produce, and a one-man show he wrote on Twain called, At Home with Mark Twain. He created the role of Sam Belsky in the world premiere of Jay Kholo's musical My Catskills Summer.

Ron's favorite role remains that of husband to his lovely wife Kay, and father to their six children as well as grandfather to their ten grandchildren. They reside in Oxnard, California.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tami Zaccaro

Spouse (1)

Kay Knebes (23 September 1961 - present) (6 children)

Trade Mark (1)

His voice

Trivia (42)

Was offered a contract by The Chicago White Sox while only 16. The scout was Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby.
Six children: Four daughters, twin boys. 10 grandchildren: seven girls, three boys .
Post Soldier of the Month (Fort Benjamin Harrison) [1960]
Was only Military Policeman to ever appear in world touring All Army Show
Was the first recipient of Muscular Dystrophys "Humanitarian of the year" award. Was named "Man of the Year" by Volunteers Assisting Cancer Stricken Families. Worldwide Ambassador for "Childhelp USA".
Hosted Jerry Lewis Telethon in Los Angeles 10 years.
Starred as Lou Costello in 5 different advertising campaigns.
Was voice of Vlasic pickle stork 15 years.
Headlined World Touring All Army Show "Rolling Along 1960" voted one of the "Outstanding Young Men in America" 1963-4
Toured the world doing impressions: Considered the first Elvis Presley impersonator as early as 1956. Did Elvis on The Spade Cooley Show (1957).
Among others in his "View Of Vegas" were Sammy Davis Jr., Bobby Darin, Shelley Berman, Joe E. Lewis and Johnnie Ray.
Chicago College Actor of the Year 1956
During his 8 years as Sheriff Mort Metzger on Murder, She Wrote (1984), he only had one female deputy, Deputy Lynn Olsen. She was played by his actress daughter Kathryn Masak. She is now married to a Los Angeles Deputy Sheriff.
In the Episode "Wheel Of Death" The Carnival Knife thrower "Nicky" was played by actor Jimi Defilippis, who is now married to Ron's daughter Debbie.
Was an honorary sheriff of Tarzana, California for 35 years.
In 1954 he was voted "Homecoming King" at Kelly High School in Chicago Illinois.
Cousin of actor Michael Gross and actress Mary Gross.
Appeared in 32 consecutive Hollywood Stars Games at Dodger Stadium.
Father of actress Kathryn Masak and actor Mike Masak.
An All Around Athlete while in the Army he was Quarterback on the Ft. Ord Football Team, Guard on the Ft. Gordon Basketball team and Shortstop on the Ft. Benjamin Harrison Baseball team
Was presented The Allen Ludden Humanitarian Award for 2003 by the Motion Picture Mothers. It was presented by former winner Tom Selleck.
Named 2003 Man of the Year....by The Blind Childrens Center
Member: Theta Alpha Phi Fraternity.
While serving as Host of the MDA Telethon in Los Angeles, he turned the first shovel of dirt for what is now the UCLA Jerry Lewis Neuromuscular Center.
Member of The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science.
Rode an elephant in opening parade of Ringling Brothers Circus.
Hand-picked by President Ronald Reagan to succeed him as Fire Prevention Spokesman in PSAs.
At one time held a top secret security clearance as an MP.
Performed at West Point, Annapolis, and The Air Force Academy.
As a ten-year-old he was inspired by The Jolson Story (1946). He started doing impressions of Al Jolson at parties and once stopped a gang fight on the school grounds by climbing on a roof and singing.
Appeared in the infomercial, hosted by Pat Boone, for "Vital Factors" bio-protector system. [2007]
Starred in the World Premiere of The Jay Kholos Musical "My Catskills Summer". [July 2007]
Starring in his One Man Show: At Home with Mark Twain [September 2007]
His book: I've Met All My Heroes from A-Z was published and is sold on Amazon.com. [December 2009]
Hollywood Ca. USA

Still working, acting new TV Pilot writing new TV Pilot emceeing many events around the world. [December 2012]
Finished writing his book: I've Met All My Heroes. [September 2007]
In 2013 he and his wife Kay rode in their 10th Hollywood Christmas parade. Over the years many family members rode with them.
Presented The Jack Oakie Comendy Achievement Award in 2015.
Received Lifetime Achievement award for acting from The Southern California Motion Picture Council in 2015. Presented by Margaret O'Brien.
As a boy he was a Cub Scout and a Boy Scout.
Was Named Coca-Cola's Guardian Angel 2016 at the American Airlines Celebrity Ski Event benefiting Cystic Fibrosis.
Was in the dugout seats with former Dodger catcher Steve Yeager when Kurt Gibson hit his Classic world series Home Run.

Personal Quotes (2)

Individuals win trophies ... teamwork wins championships
There are no reasons for failure...just excuses

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page