Terry Kiser (born August 1, 1939)[1] is an American actor. Besides portraying the deceased title character of the comedy Weekend at Bernie's and its sequel, Weekend at Bernie's II, he has more than 140 acting credits to his name, with a career spanning more than 50 years. He is the co-founder of the now defunct acting school The Actors Arena in Austin, Texas.[2]

Terry Kiser
Kiser in 2015
Born (1939-08-01) August 1, 1939 (age 84)
Years active1963–present
Sylvie Marmet
(m. 1987; div. 2004)

Early life and education edit

Kiser was born on August 1, 1939, in Elmhurst, Illinois.[3] He attended the University of Kansas on both football and dramatic scholarships. He graduated with a degree in Industrial Engineering and worked for three years in this profession in Omaha. [4][5]

A few years later, on the advice of a drama teacher, he made the decision to quit engineering to pursue acting full-time and moved to New York City in 1965. He joined the Actors Studio and worked with Lee Strasberg.[citation needed]

Career edit

After college, Kiser returned to his hometown Omaha and worked as an engineer for three years while acting in amateur productions; more than fifty plays. His first two years in New York City included an array of small parts, ranging from theater to television to commercials. By 1967, Kiser gained significant recognition for his work, winning both an Obie Award and Theater World Award for Fortune and Men's Eyes.[6][2]

Becoming a life member of The Actors Studio,[7] Kiser was a regular on several soap operas, The Secret Storm and The Doctors. In 1978, he starred on the short-lived sitcoms The Roller Girls, and Sugar Time!. It was during the 1970s and early 1980s that Kiser appeared in Three's Company, "Hardcastle and McCormick", One Day at a Time, The Love Boat, Night Court, 227, Maude and The Golden Girls.

One of his roles was on the TV drama Hill Street Blues, playing comedian Vic Hitler ("Vic the Narcoleptic Comic"). He was a cast member on the syndicated sketch comedy show Off the Wall and a part of the ensemble on Carol Burnett's Carol & Company, which aired in 1990. In the 1990s, he appeared on Walker, Texas Ranger, The Golden Girls, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (as H. G. Wells) and Will & Grace.

His film appearances include Fast Charlie... the Moonbeam Rider (1979), Rich Kids (1979), Steel (1979), An Eye for an Eye (1981), Making Love (1982), Six Pack (1982), Starflight: The Plane That Couldn't Land (1983), Surf II (1984), From a Whisper to a Scream (1987) and Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988).

Kiser starred in Weekend at Bernie's (1989), in the title role of Bernie Lomax, a corrupt insurance executive who is dead for most of the film. Bernie's young employees, played by Jonathan Silverman and Andrew McCarthy, attempt to convince people that Bernie is still alive. He reprised the role in Weekend at Bernie's II (1993). Since 2012, several YouTube videos featuring "The Bernie Dance" generated more than 17 million views collectively by April 2016. Other film appearances include Mannequin Two: On the Move (1991), Into the Sun (1992), The Pledge (2011), and A Christmas Tree Miracle (2013).

In 2013, Kiser moved to Austin, Texas, where he founded an acting school, The Actors Arena, which closed in 2016.[2] Instruction was open to students of all ages and experience levels, and served approximately 300 students during its three-year run.[citation needed]

Filmography edit

Movies edit

Television edit

References edit

  1. ^ Who Sang What on Broadway, 1866–1996: The Singers. McFarland. 2006. p. 425. ISBN 9780786421893.
  2. ^ a b c "Terry Kiser". theactorsarena.com. The Actors Arena. July 28, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  3. ^ "Weekend at Brewstie's". americanancestors.org. Vita Brevis. November 1, 2019. Archived from the original on January 28, 2021.
  4. ^ https://www.wtrf.com/archives/actor-terry-kiser-talks-of-upcoming-role-in-ticket-to-nashville/
  5. ^ https://www.wallofcelebrities.com/celebrities/terry-kiser/biography.html
  6. ^ "67". ObieAwards.com. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  7. ^ Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 278. ISBN 0-02-542650-8.

External links edit