The Working Actor EDITOR'S INTRO
This is the twenty sixth 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.
Stephen Elliott
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Stephen Elliott has performed literally thousands of roles on stage and screen for well over half a century. His characters have shared the big and small screen with some of the most famous and decorated actors of our time.

He has appeared with actors the likes of Jason Robards, Charles Bronson, Claudette Colbert, Peter Ustinov, Jose Ferrer, Ben Gazzara, George C. Scott, Dudley Moore, Eddie Murphy, Kim Hunter, Shirley Jones, Ethel Merman, Dana Andrews, Donna Reed, Richard Basehart, George Montgomery, Willem Dafoe, Sally Field, Jeff Bridges, and James Caan, to name but a few.

Stephen Elliott has been the casting choice for Directors such as Arthur Hiller, Bud Yorkin, Martin Brest, Robert Wise, Milton Katselas, and Michael Winner.

His long and decorated stage career, has displayed his talents on and Off-Broadway, playing varied characters of Shakespeare, Ibsen, Arthur Miller, Sean O'Casey, Jean Anouilh, and on and on.

His first professional appearance was as "Duke Manten" in the National Company of "THE PETRIFIED FOREST" - a role also played on stage and screen by the late Humphrey Bogart. After finishing his road tour he returned to New York and enrolled in the Neighborhood Playhouse were he studied under the guidance of Sanford Meisner and where he was discovered by Guthrie McClintic who was responsible for his first New York stage appearance in a comedy entitled "SPRING AGAIN" which starred that expert comedienne, the late Grace George.

Since that time his career has been varied On-Broadway, Off-Broadway, Motion Pictures, and television. His outstanding performance in a Equity Library production of the late Sidney Howard's "PATHS OF GLORY" resulted in his first major assignment on the New York stage in "COMMAND DECISION" opposite the late Paul Kelly. Among other outstanding stage productions On-Broadway in which he appeared are Shakespeare's "THE TEMPEST" with Vera Zorina, Arnold Moss, and Canada Lee; "THE WONDERFUL JOURNEY" with Sidney Blackme; "THE SHRIKE" with Jose Ferrer; "LIVING THE LIFE" With Alice Ghostley; "ROMAN CANDLE" with Robert Sterling; "THE DISENCHANTED" with Jason Robarts, in which production he played the leading role during Mr. Robart's absence from the cast; "THE IRREGULAR VERB TO LOVE" with Claudete Colbert and Cyril Richard;the Broadway production of Anouilh's "TRAVELER WITHOUT LUGGAGE" in which he Co-Starred with Ben Gazzara, and as Peter Ustinov's Alter-Ego in the comedy, "PHOTO FINISH".

Being a great admirer of Sean O'Casey, Stephen has appeared in several of O'Casey's plays Off-Broadway including: "THE PURPLE DUST", "DRUMS UNDER THE WINDOW", and the Paul Shyre adaptations of "KNOCK ON THE DOOR", and "PICTURES IN THE HALLWAY".

Stephen Elliot, however may best be known for his Big Screen performances as the "Police Commissioner" in Charles Bronson film "DEATH WISH", or again playing a Police Commissioner in Milton Katselas' "REPORT TO THE COMMISSIONER". And who can forget his gritty performance as the would be father-in-law in the two Dudley Moore "Arthur" comedies. Also notable performances in "THE HOSPITAL", the Arthur Hiller/Paddy Chayefsky comedy/drama starring George C. Scott, and Robert Wise's thriller "THE HINDENBERG" with an All-Star cast which included George C. Scott, Anne Bancroft, Gig Young, Burgess Meredith, Charles Durning, Richard A. Dysart, and Katherine Helmond.

Stephen is no stranger to the small screen either, having appeared in hundreds of TV episodes, mini-series and TV Movies, highlighted by: "CAPTAIN VIDEO AND HIS VIDEO RANGERS" (1949), "AS THE WORLD TURNS", "A WORLD APART", COLUMBO", "HOW THE WEST WAS WON" the mini-series, "YOUNG JOE, THE FORGOTTEN KENNEDY", "THE ORDEAL OF PATTY HEARST", "JACQUELINE BOUVIER KENNEDY", "DALLAS", "PERRY MASON", and most recently CHICAGO HOPE.

Halpern & Assoc.

Stephen Elliott's advice to the aspiring actor:

"When I first started in the business of acting, it wasn't about the Movies or Hollywood, it was about learning a craft on a stage bathed in the warmth (hopefully) of a living, breathing, laughing, and crying audience. These values seem to be missing today! I think our best performances today still come from those with a strong background in the theater."

Stephen Elliott's Credits (partial)

  • "Chicago Hope"(1994) (TV Series)  .... Judge Harold Aldrich (1994-1996)
  • "Taking Care of Business" (1991)  .... Walter Bentley
  • "The Big One: The Great Los Angeles Earthquake" (1990) (TV)  .... Owen
  • "When He's Not a Stranger" (1989) (TV)  .... Foster
  • "Columbo: Grand Deceptions" (1989) (TV)  .... General Padget
  • "Trial and Error"(1988) (TV Series)  .... Edmund Kittle
  • "Arthur 2: On the Rocks" (1988)  .... Burt Johnson
  • "Perry Mason: The Case of the Lost Love" (1987) (TV)  .... Elliot Moore
  • "Assassination" (1987)  .... Fitzroy
  • "Walk Like a Man" (1987)  .... Walter Welmont
  • "Dallas"(1978) (TV Series)  .... Scotty Demarest (1985; 1987)
  • "Beverly Hills Cop" (1984)  .... Chief Hubbard
  • "Roadhouse 66" (1984)  .... Sam
  • "Prototype" (1983) (TV)  .... Dr. Arthur Jarrett
  • Not in Front of the Children (1982) (TV)  .... Reverend John Carruthers
  • "My Body, My Child" (1982) (TV)  .... Dr. Gallagher
  • "Kiss Me Goodbye" (1982)  .... Edgar
  • "Falcon Crest"(1981) (TV Series)  .... Douglas Channing (1981-1982)
  • "Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy" (1981) (TV)  .... Joseph P. Kennedy
  • "Arthur" (1981)  .... Burt Johnson
  • "Cutter's Way" (1981)  .... J. J. Cord
  • "The Golden Honeymoon" (1980) (TV) 
  • "Can You Hear the Laughter? The Story of Freddie Prinze" (1979) (TV)  .... Jonas
  • "Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love" (1979) (TV)  .... Abe Kaufman
  • "Ordeal of Patty Hearst" (1979) (TV)  .... Randolph Hearst
  • "Some Kind of Miracle" (1979) (TV)  .... Arthur Nicoff
  • "Mrs. R's Daughter" (1979) (TV)  .... James Karp
  • "Betrayal" (1978) (TV)  .... Judge Allan Myers
  • "Overboard" (1978) (TV)  .... Shawn
  • "Sergeant Matlovich vs. the U.S. Air Force" (1978) (TV)  .... Mat's Father
  • "How the West Was Won"(1978) (mini- Series)  .... Zachary Knight
  • "Mom and Dad Can't Hear Me" (1978) (TV)  .... Dan Meredith
  • "Sharks" (1978)  .... Morgan Grayand
  • "Young Joe, the Forgotten Kennedy" (1977) (TV)  .... Joseph Kennedy Sr.
  • "Executive Suite"(1976) (TV Series)  .... Howell Rutledge
  • "The Invasion of Johnson County" (1976) (TV)  .... Colonel Van Horn
  • "The November Plan" (1976) (TV)  .... Harold Delaney
  • "Report to the Commissioner" (1975)  .... Police Commissioner
  • "Beacon Hill"(1975) (TV Series)  .... Benjamin Lassiter
  • "Columbo: A Deadly State of Mind" (1975) (TV)  .... Carl Donner
  • "The Hindenburg" (1975)  .... Captain Fellows
  • "The Gun" (1974) (TV)  .... Art Hilliard
  • "Death Wish" (1974)  .... Police Commissioner
  • "Pueblo" (1973) (TV)  .... Rear Admiral F.L. Johnson
  • "Steambath" (1972) (TV)  .... Oldtimer
  • "The Hospital" (1971)  .... Dr. John Sundstrom
  • "World Apart, A"(1970) (TV Series)  .... Jack Condon (1970-1971)
  • "As the World Turns"(1956) (TV Series)  .... Dr. Jerry Stephens (1960-1962)
  • "Young Dr. Malone"(1958) (TV Series) 
  • "Street of Sinners" (1957)  .... Bit Part
  • "Canyon Crossroads" (1955)  .... Larson
  • "The Secret Storm"(1954) (TV Series) 
  • "Three Hours to Kill" (1954)  .... Ben East
  • "Captain Video and His Video Rangers"(1949) (TV Series)  .... Dr. Pauli (1954-1955)
  • "Hands of Murder"(1949) (TV Series) 

  • "Chicago Hope"(1994) playing "Judge Harold Aldrich"
  • "Law & Order"(1990) playing "Dr. Hogan"
  • "Law & Order"(1990) playing "Judge Neil Markham"
  • "Scarecrow and Mrs. King"(1983) playing "Karl Eagles"
  • "Sledge Hammer!"(1986) playing "Yates"
  • "Highway to Heaven"(1984) playing "Mr. Armstrong"
  • "Murder, She Wrote"(1984) playing "Dr. Samuel Garver"
  • "Scarecrow and Mrs. King"(1983) playing "Jay Armin"
  • "Remington Steele"(1982) playing "'Uncle' Norman Baines"
  • "Magnum, P.I."(1980) playing "Vic Stout"
  • "Little House on the Prairie"(1974) playing "Hollingsworth"
  • "Taxi"(1978) playing "Ed McKenzie"
  • "Hart to Hart"(1979) playing "Baldwin"
  • "Lou Grant"(1977) playing "Chip Murphy"
  • "The Bionic Woman"(1976) playing "Duke"
  • "The Rockford Files"(1974)
  • "Petrocelli"(1974)
  • "Kojak"(1973) playing "Tyler Meadows"
  • "Barnaby Jones"(1973) playing "James Brock"
  • "The Philco Television Playhouse"(1948)

  • Whistle in the Dark - "Drama Desk Award"
  • Marat-Sade - "Tony Nomination"
  • Prodigal Daughter
  • Creation of the World and Other Business
  • Georgy
  • Gypsy
  • The Gay Life
  • Command Decision
  • The Tempest

  • King Lear
  • The Miser
  • Playboy of the Western World
  • Mary Stuart
  • Crucible
  • Ride Across Lake Constance
  • Cry of the Players
  • In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer
  • Enemy of the People
  • Good Women of Szetwan

For more info and credits see IMDb

-- End ---

Archives Eugene Roche [July 2001]
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July 2001
Jon Polito [June 2001]
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June 2001
Peter Riegert [May 2001]
Peter Riegert
May 2001
Bonnie Bartlett [April 2001]
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April 2001
William Daniels [March 2001]
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March 2001
Dick Whittinghill [February 2001]
Dick Whittinghill
February 2001
Chris Ellis [January 2001]
Chris Ellis
January 2001
James Whitmore Jr. [December 2000]
James Whitmore Jr.
December 2000
Vince Grant [November 2000]
Vince Grant
November 2000
Judith Hoag [October 2000]
Judith Hoag
October 2000
Madison Mason [September 2000]
Madison Mason
September 2000
Jay Acovone [August 2000]
Jay Acovone
August 2000
Richard Riehle [July 2000]
Richard Riehle
July 2000
Charlie Brill [June 2000]
Charlie Brill
June 2000
Edie McClurg [May 2000]
Edie McClurg
May 2000
Miguel Sandoval [April 2000]
Miguel Sandoval
April 2000
Tom Bower [March 2000]
Tom Bower
March 2000
Amy Aquino [February 2000]
Amy Aquino
February 2000
Danny Chambers [January 2000]
Danny Chambers
January 2000
Eve Gordon [December 1999]
Eve Gordon
December 1999
Barbara Niven [November 1999]
Barbara Niven
November 1999
Bill Lucking [October 1999]
Bill Lucking
October 1999
Richard Roundtree [September 1999]
Richard Roundtree
September 1999
Pat Harrington [August 1999]
Pat Harrington
August 1999
Robert Donner [July 1999]
Robert Donner
July 1999

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