A graduate of the University of Iowa, Getz is one of four siblings raised in Iowa and in the Mississippi River Valley of Northern Illinois. After doing a number of plays at the University of Iowa he was encouraged to try acting as a profession. A children's theater production in Napa led to New York which led to Getz's first East Coast play at LaMaMa with Danny DeVito and Peter Riegert. He later spent one season (1970-71) with the American Conservatory Theater (ACT) in San Francisco, joined Actor's Equity, and a year later helped found the Napa Valley Theater Company in Yountville, California. One of Getz's earliest roles was as "Shampoo Man" in a Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo commercial shot in the late 1970s. He appeared in the workshop and very first production of the musical "The Robber Bridegroom".
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