The Working Actor EDITOR'S INTRO
This is the thirteenth in a continuing feature at IndustryCentral profiling "The Working Actor". (See Archives below)
William Shakespeare said "There are no small parts.....". William Shatner may have said it too, but the longhair with the tights was first, or so the reports go. In this feature we will explore what it really means to be an actor working in Motion Pictures and Television.
Broad public acknowledgment may have eluded some who find their way to these pages, or perhaps they may have brushed against what is referred to as stardom by virtue of one or more remarkable performances. However for many, the rewards of plying their craft in a field which has allowed them to earn a living may exceed the burdens of public acclaim. Given the chance, some in this clan might prefer the longevity offered by anonymity over the potential for short lived fame.
These individuals, either by design or fate, have managed to sustain a career by crafting performances which rendered them a good casting choice. They are usually thought of as a face you recognize, but you just can't get the name past the tip of your tongue.
Most of these folks have spent countless hours on stage in theaters ranging from 20 seats to 2000, building characters from the works of Ibsen, to Eliot, to Williams, to yes even Shakespeare, and so many of the modern Playwrights. They have rounded their skills doing drama, comedy, & musicals. Their work is a serious venture.
These people have given us screen performances which quite often were the catalyst that brought an Oscar or Emmy to another and yet they continue to work as "Characters" or "Co-Stars" without the trophies and plaques adorning their mantle.
Richard Riehle
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Richard Riehle was born and raised in the midwest. He earned his undergrad degree BA (cum laude) in Speech and Drama at the University of Notre Dame and spent 15 months in Europe as a German Major studying in Salsburg and Innsbruck. Later he added an MFA in Theater Arts at the University of Minnisotta and received another diploma from The John Fernald Academy.

Richard spent most of his first 25 years as an actor doing regional theater from Summer Stock in Indiana in 1969 to his Broadway Debut in Execution of Justice. He apprenticed at the Meadowbrook Theater in Michigan right out of school and earned his Equity Card there in 1974. The next year he broadened his professional status earning his A.F.T.R.A. membership doing Commercial and Local TV work in Michigan and joined the Screen Actors Guild while shooting Joy ride in Washington State in 1976.

Until moving to New York in 1984, Richard was (in his own words) "pretty peripatetic", traveling from job to job, with no permanent residence. "I hardly ever stayed anywhere as long as a year". Early on, he worked in the Midwest, and in 1972 began pursuing work west of the Mississippi. It wasn't until 1976 that Richard made the move to the West Coast and concentrated on jobs from Alaska to Arizona and pretty much everywhere in between.

He got his "feet wet" with some Film and TV work wherever he could. He was cast as the Quartermaster in Glory in December of 1989 and by the TV Pilot Season in 1990 Richard found himself in LA. He feels that it was the fact that it was in the middle of a successful Theatrical Run that many doors opened up for him. That season, he was cast as a regular in NBC's Ferris Bueller and the show (along with Richard) was picked up for 13 episodes.

Since that time, Richard has been living and working out of Los Angeles for the most part with departures back to NYC in 1999 to do Babes in Arms as part of the City Center Encore Series and Iceman Cometh with Kevin Spacey on Broadway.

Say's Richard, "I've been fortunate enough to work fairly steadily, going back and forth between Film and TV for the past 10 years with a lot of terrific people. I hope to keep it up in the future." ............. We have no doubt that he will!

Francis Okwu
(323) 653-2757
(818) 972-4300

Richard Riehle's advice to the aspiring actor:
Be Prepared It's so much about being in the right place at the right time,
but when your break comes, you better be ready and able to produce.
Be Grateful It's such a matter of luck - There's so many people as skilled as you, so many unknowns in every choice - that you shouldn't take rejection personally, but be thankful for every opportunity.
Be Happy This is such a small community - if you're fortunate, you will be working with the same people again - Help to make it a pleasant experience and everyone will look forward to working with you again.
Be Patient Do whatever it takes to "hang in there" and outlast your competition!

Richard Riehle's Credits (partial)

Film and Television

  • Gristle, The (2001)
  • Fluffer, The (2000) .... Sam Martins
  • Say It Isn't So (2000) .... Merle
  • Hard Time: Hostage Hotel (1999) (TV) .... Capt. Waters
  • Au Pair (1999) (TV)
  • Hard Time: The Premonition (1999) (TV) .... Capt. Waters
  • Office Space (1999) .... Tom Smykowski
  • Kill the Man (1999) .... Mr. Ellias
  • Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (1999) .... Bob Bigalow
  • Mighty Joe Young (1998) .... Commander Gorman
  • Route 9 (1998) (TV) .... Wallace
  • Richie Rich's Christmas Wish (1998) (V) .... Sergeant Mooney
  • Columbo: Ashes to Ashes (1998) (TV) .... Sergeant Degamo
  • Mr. Murder (1998) (TV)
  • Judas Kiss (1998) .... Security Guard
  • Lesser Evil, The (1998) .... Detective Smits
  • One of Our Own (1998) .... Burt Herchak
  • Ransom of Red Chief, The (1998) (TV) .... Sheriff 'T-Bone' Yankum
  • Lethal Weapon 4 (1998) .... INS Agent
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) .... Dune Buggy Driver
  • Odd Couple II, The (1998) .... Sheriff
  • Mercury Rising (1998) .... Edgar Halstrom
  • Pentagon Wars, The (1998) (TV) .... General #3
  • Desperate Measures (1998) .... Ed Fayne
  • Arrangement, The (1998/I)
  • Perfect Prey (1998) (TV)
  • Murder, She Wrote: South by Southwest (1997) (TV) .... Jack Ogden
  • Do Me a Favor (1997) .... Highway Patrolman
  • One Eight Seven (1997) .... Walter
  • Balloon Farm (1997) (TV)
  • Cold Night Into Dawn (1997) .... Gerald
  • Dilemma (1997) .... Captain Ross
  • River Made to Drown In, A (1997) .... Heavyset Man
  • Ghosts of Mississippi (1996) .... Tommy Mayfield
  • Driven (1996)
  • Fan, The (1996) .... Shopkeeper
  • Soul of the Game (1996) (TV) .... Pete Harmon
  • Executive Decision (1996) .... Air Marshal
  • Killer: A Journal of Murder (1996) .... Warden Quince
  • Terminal (1996) (TV)
  • Casino (1995) .... Charlie Clark
  • Jury Duty (1995) .... Principal Beasely
  • Stuart Saves His Family (1995) .... Judge
  • Dominion (1995) .... Larry
  • Lone Justice 2 (1995) .... Mayor
  • Stranger in Town, A (1995) (TV) .... Sheriff
  • Too Fast Too Young (1995) .... Sergeant
  • Trial by Fire (1995) (TV) .... Fred Cobb
  • Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom (1995) (VG) .... Chief Technician Robert 'Pliers' Sykes
  • Gambler V: Playing for Keeps (1994) (TV) .... Frank Dimaio
  • Shadow of Obsession (1994) (TV) .... Applegate
  • Lightning Jack (1994) .... Marcus
  • Holy Matrimony (1994) .... Mr. Greeson
  • Iron Will (1994) .... Burton
  • Perry Mason: The Case of the Killer Kiss (1993) (TV)
  • Dangerous Woman, A (1993) .... John
  • "Ned Blessing: The Story of My Life and Times" (1993) (TV Series) .... Judge Longley
  • Fugitive, The (1993) .... Old Guard
  • Free Willy (1993) .... Wade
  • For Their Own Good (1993) (TV) .... Dave Butler
  • Body of Evidence (1993) .... Detective Griffin
  • Of Mice and Men (1992) .... Carlson
  • Public Eye, The (1992) .... Officer O'Brien
  • Shadows and Fog (1992) .... Roustabouts
  • Hero (1992) .... Robinson
  • Prelude to a Kiss (1992) .... Jerry Blier
  • Fried Green Tomatoes (1991) .... Reverend Scroggins
  • Keeper of the City (1991) (TV) .... Walden
  • Killer Among Us, A (1990) (TV) .... Oscar Wendt
  • "Ferris Bueller" (1990) (TV Series) .... Ed Rooney
  • Glory (1989) .... Kendric
  • Cast the First Stone (1989) (TV) .... Dickson
  • Cross of Fire (1989) (TV) .... Hollings
  • Black Rain (1989) .... Crown
  • Rachel River (1987) .... Merv
Notable TV guest appearances
  • "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" (1996) "Jedediah"
  • "City of Angels" (2000) "Dr. Whitney"
  • "Star Trek: Voyager" (1995) "Seamus McGinty"
  • "Chicago Hope" (1994) "Milo Schwarz"
  • "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1997) "Merrick"
  • "Pretender, The" (1996) "Grahm Rochmer"
  • "Brooklyn South" (1997) "Jarman"
  • "Visitor, The" (1997) "Principal Shinagel"
  • "Ally McBeal" (1997) "Jack Billings"
  • "Perversions of Science" (1997) "Gorn"
  • "High Incident" (1996) "Roy"
  • "Men Behaving Badly" (1996) "stranger"
  • "Client, The" (1995)
  • "Too Something" (1995)
  • "Murder One" (1995)
  • "Sirens" (1993) "Irving Chattle"
  • "Murder, She Wrote" (1984) "Police Sgt. Devon O'Malley"
  • "On the Air" (1992) "Dr. Winky"
  • "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987) "Batai"
  • "Roseanne" (1988)
  • "Golden Girls, The" (1985) "Det. Parres"
  • "Murder, She Wrote" (1984) "Aaron"
  • "Quantum Leap" (1989) "Lt. Lannon"

For more info and credits see IMDb

-- ---End

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