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Lenny von Dohlen Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trivia (9)  | Personal Quotes (7)

Overview (2)

Born in Augusta, Georgia, USA
Height 6' 1" (1.85 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Lenny von Dohlen was born in Augusta, Georgia. As a child, he wished to become a jockey, but grew too tall for his dream. He graduated from the University of Texas/Austin and majored in drama at Loretto Heights College.

His film debut was in the Academy Award-winning Tender Mercies (1983), starring Robert Duvall, written by Horton Foote and directed by Bruce Beresford. From that performance, he was given the leading role in MGM/UA's Electric Dreams (1984). Other starring roles quickly followed: American Playhouse: Under the Biltmore Clock (1984), Blind Vision (1992), Jennifer 8 (1992), Edward Zwick's Leaving Normal (1992), David Lynch's Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992), and the title role in Billy Galvin (1986), opposite Karl Malden.

In a career known for depth, diversity and mostly dramatic roles, Lenny Von Dohlen shook things up hilariously when he played one of the bumbling bad guys in Twentieth Century Fox's Home Alone 3 (1997). This came on the heels of a string of amazingly complex roles in highly regarded independent films such as Tollbooth (1994), Bird of Prey (1995), One Good Turn (1996), Entertaining Angels (1998), Cadillac (1997) and Breaking News (1994).

Von Dohlen made an auspicious television debut in the Emmy Award-winning Kent State: The Day the War Came Home (2000), and has appeared in some of television's most highly regarded shows, such as Thirtysomething (1987), Picket Fences (1992), Chicago Hope (1994), The Lazarus Man (1996), The Pretender (1996), CSI: Miami (2002) and "ABC Afternoon Specials" (1972) {Don't Touch}_ , directed by Beau Bridges. However, he is probably best known for having created the agoraphobic orchid-growing "Harold Smith" in David Lynch's cutting-edge series Twin Peaks (1990). Most recently, he appeared in Masterpiece Theatre's presentation of Eudora Welty's "The Ponder Heart" on PBS.

Above all, the theater is his first love. In New York, he created roles in "Asian Shade", "The Team", "Twister" and "Vanishing Act" and "The Maderati", both by Richard Greenberg. For nine months, he starred in Carol Churchill's hit play "Cloud 9", directed by Tommy Tune, followed by The Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of "Desire Under The Elms", opposite Kathy Baker. He has starred in "Hamlet", "Romeo and Juliet", Joe Orton's "Loot", Wedekind's and Lanford Wilson's one-man play "A Poster of the Cosmos". On the West Coast, Mr. Von Dohlen has been see in Wedekind's "Lulu" at the La Jolla Playhouse, "The Blue Room" at the Pasadena Playhouse, in "Theater Distric" at the Black Dahlia Theater, and at the Theater & Boston Court played "Voltaire" in the much acclaimed World Premier of Jean Claude van Italie's "Light" garnering the Los Angeles Critics Circle and Ovation Best Actor Award nominations.

Born in Georgia, Von Dohlen currently resides in New York and Los Angeles.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: darlene kaplan

Trivia (9)

Good friends with actor Will Patton, Sheryl Lee and Louise Fletcher.
(August 9, 2000) His daughter Hazel was born.
Is an accomplished stage actor.
Suggested that his Twin Peaks (1990) character Harold Smith, instead of hanging himself could gas the orchids and himself, and die with all the orchids lying over him. As he came up with this idea quite late, the scene couldn't have been changed, but as a compromise, a scene where Von Dohlen gases the orchids was added.
His parents own Von Dohlen Motors, a car dealership in Goliad, Texas.
Attended the 2011 Twin Peaks Festival. [August 2011]
Attended the 2010 Fall Hollywood Show in Burbank, California, which held a Twin Peaks (1990) reunion. [October 2010]
Attended the 2002 Twin Peaks Festival. [August 2002]
Attended the 2012 Twin Peaks UK Festival in London [October 2012].

Personal Quotes (7)

My nature was one that I didn't think I'd be happy doing something that was dispassionate or routine. I didn't know if it came to me in a dream, but whenever the decision was made, it was total and the obsession was absolute. - from the Lenny Von Dohlen interview in American Premiere, May 1992
I love working with the dedicated people at this theater. They are pursuing this for truth and beauty, not just as a springboard to the next job. Before I decided to be an actor, I wanted to be a jockey, but then I realized I wanted to be more than a Texan cowboy. - Von Dohlen, interviewed by Travis Michael Holder, June 25th, 2004
The one thing I was most desperate to avoid, when I got into movies, was becoming typecast.
I wanted to be a jockey when I was growing up. But I grew too tall. I grew to be six-one. It was devastating. Somehow acting came up, and that became my obsession. When that devastation happened with the jockey business I thought, 'Okay, I don't want to be the kind of actor who does just one thing.' So I thought, 'I've got to get rid of my Texas accent.' I saw an ad in the back of Life magazine for John Gielgud doing Shakespeare - 'The Ages of Man'. It came on a record, so I sent away for that. I listened to it until I completely exorcised my Texas accent. I moved to New York, and I got 'Tender Mercies' and I had to get a Texas accent! I had to play a good ol' boy! So I called my brother. I would just talk to him!
Sheryl was so brave. I don't know many actors who could do that. - on co-star Sheryl Lee's performance in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992).
I'm reminded of the scene in the movie [Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)] with Sheryl Lee, whom I adore. It goes back to that scene about each character having their own world. It is almost like lava. At that moment in their lives, both Laura and Harold had a lot going on, separately, but when it came together, it was supercharged. Nobody knows how many levels that scene plays on. By the end of it, we were both shaking. Sheryl was really shivering. She had put herself through it. I was worn out, too. When it was over, I saw some movement out of the corner of my eye. David [Lynch] was dancing a jig. I thought, 'Wow. That's what it should be about'. He was celebrating the exploration. He acknowledged the moment. And that is very, very rare. - on playing "Harold Smith" in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992).
[Stage work] is what brought me to the table to begin with. I had never thought about movies or TV. It just happened by accident. I was in New York doing my plays, and I got 'Tender Mercies'. 'Electric Dreams' was really quick after that.

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