My parents, who are classical musicians were playing a season of summer stock in Michigan in 1965. I appeared in a few of the shows and when we returned to New York City my mother brought me to the office of an agent. I booked the first commercial I auditioned for (I was the only six year old who could say “Crazy bubbles bubble blowing bubble bath) and things progressed from there.
I went on to appear in more than 2 dozen commercials, voice overs and radio spots. I played “Orestes” in a production of “Iphegenia in Aulis” at the Circle in the Square Theatre. In the summer of love I joined Ann Miller in “Mame” on Broadway. In 1970 I simultaneously booked a part in “The Rothchild’s” on Broadway and the part for which I am best known: “Mike Tee Vee” in the cult classic film, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”. After completing production of “Willy Wonka”, I joined “The Rothschild’s” on Broadway and then in the First National Tour. Then more theatre, industrials, and the occasional TV appeareance, i.e. “The Ed Sullivan Show.” At around age 14 I decided to knock off from acting and just be a kid. I got back into it for my college years, got a B.F.A. in Theatre from NYU.
Upon graduation all I wanted to do was travel, and travel I did. I founded “Access International”, a travel service sending backpackers standby on charter flights to Europe. During this time I visited 36 countries on 6 continents, ( I’m up to 40 now!) everything from the Jungles of the Amazon to the Sahara Desert. You name it, I’ve been there.
Next was a couple of years in Real Estate (hated it), a few years in Film Production (fun but killer hours), a stint at Walt Disney Imagineering, where they design and build the theme parks, (also fun, if a bit right wing for my tastes), Retail (eh), and a few more Entrepreneurial Ventures.
These days I am directing commercial casting sessions here in Los Angeles. Due to the phenomenal success of “Willy Wonka…” through the years, I have also been appearing at film conventions, signing autographs. I appear in the occasional commercial or play as they cross my path but have not actively pursued an acting career since college.
As you can tell from my past, there is no telling what I may do next. (Direct?) In any case, I have lived a full and eminently satisfying life.
There is life after art..
Star Trek: Voyager (TV Series)
– Virtuoso (2000) … Fawning Fan (uncredited)
1999 Screenplay (TV Movie)
Mail Room Clerk
1994 Macross Plus (TV Mini-Series) (English version, voice)
1971 Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
2011 Something Borrowed (production assistant)
1991 Until the End of the World (production assistant – uncredited)
2012 The Owner (first assistant director: New York)
2005 Citizen Candy Man: A Chocumentary (Short) (everlasting thanks)
2012 Men with No Lives (TV Series)
– Who Is Hugh Jardon? Stan Lee’s Comikaze Special (2012) … Himself
2012 Beyond the Marquee (TV Series)
Herself – Guest
– Meet the Wonka Kids (2012) … Herself – Guest
2011 Top Chef: Just Desserts (TV Series)
– Pure Imagination (2011) … Himself
2003 After They Were Famous (TV Series documentary)
– Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (2003) … Himself
2001 Pure Imagination: The Story of ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ (Video documentary short)