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William "Billy" Van Zandt (born December 13, 1957) is an American playwright and actor.

Billy Van Zandt
Billy Van Zandt, NYC, 2006.jpg
Billy Van Zandt, 2006, NYC
William Van Zandt

(1957-12-13) December 13, 1957 (age 61)
OccupationActor, Director, Playwright
Years active1975-present
Adrienne Barbeau
(m. 1992)

Personal lifeEdit

Van Zandt was born in Red Bank, New Jersey, to Mary H. Lento and William Brewster Van Zandt.[1] He is of Italian and Dutch descent[2] He grew up in Middletown Township, New Jersey.[3]

Van Zandt is the half-brother of musician/actor Steven Van Zandt and brother-in-law of his wife, actress Maureen Van Zandt. Billy married actress Adrienne Barbeau on December 31, 1992. The couple met in 1991 during the West Coast premiere of Billy's play Drop Dead! They divorced in 2018. They have twin sons, William and Walker (born March 17, 1997).[4]


Van Zandt is the co-author and star of the Off-Broadway plays You've Got Hate Mail, Silent Laughter, Drop Dead!, and 21 other theatrical plays written with Jane Milmore, including A Night at the Nutcracker, Wrong Window, and summer stock perennial Love, Sex, and the I.R.S. He also wrote The Property Known as Garland for Adrienne Barbeau, which ran Off-Broadway at the Actor's Playhouse in 2006.

Van Zandt was nominated for an Emmy Award for his television special I Love Lucy: The Very First Show, and won People's Choice and NAACP Image Awards for his work on the Martin Lawrence comedy Martin and a Prism Multi-Cultural Award for his work on TV's The Hughleys.

Along with partner Jane Milmore, he created and/or developed television's The Wayans Bros. for Shawn Wayans and Marlon Wayans, Suddenly Susan for Brooke Shields, Bless This House for Andrew Dice Clay, and Daddy Dearest for Don Rickles and Richard Lewis.

In addition to starring in his own plays, he has had roles as Bob, one of the sailing teenagers, in Jaws 2 (1978), an alien Starfleet ensign in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), a military school cadet in the 1981 film Taps, and a mobster wannabe in the 1999 film A Wake in Providence, which he also co-wrote.

On television, he was a regular cast member on the second season of ABC's Anything but Love. He was writer and guest star in the 1990 Valerie Bertinelli series Sydney.

He toured in the Off-Broadway hit You've Got Hate Mail which ran at the Triad Theater from 2010-2015 [5] as well as his newest untitled play which starts a national tour in February 2019.[6]

Full-length playsEdit

  • Love, Sex, and the I.R.S.
  • Suitehearts
  • Lie, Cheat, and Genuflect
  • Having a Wonderful Time, Wish You Were Her
  • Playing Doctor
  • A Little Quickie
  • Drop Dead!
  • Bathroom Humor
  • Infidelities
  • The Senator Wore Pantyhose
  • Till Death Do Us Part
  • Do Not Disturb
  • What the Bellhop Saw
  • Merrily We Dance and Sing
  • What the Rabbi Saw
  • Confessions of a Dirty Blonde
  • Silent Laughter
  • The Pennies
  • The Property Known as Garland
  • A Night at the Nutcracker
  • You've Got Hate Mail
  • Wrong Window
  • High School Reunion: The Musical
  • Untitled Musical

The plays are published with Samuel French, Inc. and performed worldwide.




  1. ^ Archived February 2, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-02-02. Retrieved 2010-01-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Strauss, Robert. "IN PERSON; These Two People Are a Riot", The New York Times, April 14, 2002. Accessed June 13, 2011. "ABSTRACT - Article on Hollywood actors and television writers Billy Van Zandt, native of Middletown, and Jane Milmore, who grew up in nearby Keansburg; duo has been returning to Jersey Shore each spring for two decades for spring comedy productions."
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-05-26. Retrieved 2010-08-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^[permanent dead link]

External linksEdit