Peter Scolari

Family tree of Peter Scolari

Actor

AmericanBorn Peter Thomas Scolari

American actor

Born on September 12, 1955 in New Rochelle, New York , United States

Died on October 22, 2021 in Manhattan, New York , United States

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Peter Thomas Scolari (September 12, 1955 – October 22, 2021) was an American actor. He was best known for his roles as Henry Desmond on Bosom Buddies (1980–1982), Michael Harris on Newhart (1984–1990), and Wayne Szalinski on Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show (1997–2000).
Scolari received three Emmy nominations for his work on Newhart and won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his recurring role as Tad Horvath on Girls in 2016.
...   Peter Thomas Scolari (September 12, 1955 – October 22, 2021) was an American actor. He was best known for his roles as Henry Desmond on Bosom Buddies (1980–1982), Michael Harris on Newhart (1984–1990), and Wayne Szalinski on Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show (1997–2000).
Scolari received three Emmy nominations for his work on Newhart and won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his recurring role as Tad Horvath on Girls in 2016.


Early life
Scolari was born in New Rochelle, New York, to Arthur and Barbara (née Fay) Scolari, and was raised in Scarsdale along with an older sister and two younger brothers. His father was of Italian descent and played semi-professional baseball before becoming a lawyer. His mother was a singer prior to meeting Scolari's father and later worked with the Alcohol Rehabilitation arm of the Tidewater Psychiatric Institute in Virginia Beach, Virginia. In an interview with the Toronto Star Scolari said that his father was a psychologically abusive, "rageful man", and that his mother struggled with alcoholism. Scolari added that his parents "stayed together for the kids and also because they were hopelessly in love with each other, but they were totally incompatible."At the age of 13 Scolari did some animation voice acting work and performed in plays while attending Edgemont High School in Scarsdale, where he also participated in football, baseball and track. At 16 years of age he starred as Finch in a high school production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and came to the realization that he wanted to be an actor professionally.In 1972, he enrolled at Occidental College in Los Angeles as a theater arts major, but left a year later and returned to New York after his father died. He joined the Colonnades Theatre Lab, a repertory theatre in Manhattan, working with actors such as Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Jeff Goldblum and Michael O'Keefe. Scolari was also working on a degree in comparative literature at City College of New York. During this time, Scolari appeared in multiple off-Broadway plays and met Finnish actor Paavo Tammim, who taught him to juggle. He also studied mime and learned to ride a unicycle. His performance in a 1974 production of "Reflections" received a rave review from The New York Times.In 1979 he returned to Los Angeles.


Career


Television
Scolari was signed to do an NBC pilot in 1979 titled The Further Adventures Of Wally Brown, a show that did not get picked-up. He starred in the short-lived 1980 sitcom Goodtime Girls as Benny, the juggling neighbor of the title characters. His next starring role was in the 1983 sitcom Baby Makes Five.His big break came when he was cast with Tom Hanks the sitcom, Bosom Buddies. Scolari and Hanks play a couple of advertising copywriters who disguise themselves as women in order to live in an affordable New York apartment — a women's-only residence called the Susan B. Anthony Hotel. A different actor had initially been cast alongside Hanks, but things didn't work out. Scolari happened to be playing a guest role on an adjacent sound stage and was auditioned for the role. The show's pilot was shot a few days later. Scolari played Henry Desmond, whose female pseudonym was Hildegard, and Hanks played Kip Wilson, who went by the name Buffy.Bosom Buddies was canceled in 1982 and in 1984 Scolari joined the cast of Newhart as Michael Harris, a preppily-dressed, wannabe yuppie, and local TV producer of the fictional talk show "Vermont Today". Harris was a recurring character in the show's second season and the character was so popular with audiences that executive producer Barry Kemp signed Scolari to be a regular cast member in the show's following season, before it was even confirmed that there would be a third season. His role earned Scolari three Emmy nominations for best supporting actor in a comedy and remained with the show until its conclusion in 1990. During this time, Scolari also got to showcase his vaudevillian talents during three episodes of the annual television special, Circus of the Stars, including juggling with knives and fire, as well as juggling on a tightrope.In 1993, Scolari starred in the series Family Album about a couple who move with their children back to their hometown of Philadelphia to be closer to their aging parents. Actress Gina Hecht was initially selected to play the wife of Scolari's character, but was replaced by Pamela Reed just two days before the show's pilot was shot. Scolari told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 1993 that he and Reed had "instant rapport", however the show lasted one season. Two years later he starred in the series Dweebs, which centers around the employees of a software firm. Scolari plays Warren Mosbey, the company's eccentric, socially-inept, tech-genius owner. The show was cancelled after one season.Scolari starred in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show over the show's three seasons. Scolari plays inventor Wayne Szalinski, the role originally played by Rick Moranis in the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids series of films. During the show's run, he also played astronaut Pete Conrad in the 1998 miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, co-produced by Hanks, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer.He later had a recurring role as Tad Horvath, the father of Lena Dunham's character on HBO's Girls, for which he won an Emmy in 2016. He played Gotham City’s corrupt police commissioner Gillian B. Loeb in Fox’s superhero crime drama Gotham from 2014 to 2019. He played the role of a show business manager in the 2019 biographical miniseries Fosse/Verdon, and played Bishop Marx on the series Evil, from 2019 until his death.


Theatre
Scolari appeared in such off-Broadway productions as Old Man Joseph and His Family, The Exonerated, In the Wings, It Must Be Him and White's Lies.Scolari appeared on Broadway in Wicked, as the Wizard of Oz; in Hairspray, as Wilbur Turnblad; and in Bronx Bombers, where he portrayed Yogi Berra. His wife, Tracy Shayne, played Berra's wife Carmen. He also appeared in Lucky Guy, which reunited him with his Bosom Buddies co-star Hanks.In 1996, Scolari also starred as Littlechap in a version of the stage musical Stop the World – I Want to Get Off, produced for the A&E television network.


Film
Credited under pseudonym Barney Tramble, Scolari's first film role was in the 1978 X rated film Take Off. He played a teenager named Kookie and his performance did not involve nudity. He starred in the 1984 comedy film The Rosebud Beach Hotel, about a couple — played by Scolari and Colleen Camp — who turn their hotel into a brothel, by hiring sex workers to work as bellhops.Scolari once again worked with Hanks on his directorial debut, That Thing You Do! about a fictional 1960s rock band called the Wonders. Scolari plays the role of Troy Chesterfield, the host of a variety show on which the Wonders appear. Scolari and Hanks also provided voices in the 2004 animated film "The Polar Express".


Personal life
Scolari's struggles with substance abuse and bipolar disorder were featured on a 2014 episode of Oprah: Where Are They Now?.Scolari was married four times. His first marriage was to Brooklyn attorney Lisa Kretzchmar. They divorced in 1983. He was married to Debra Steagal in 1986, a costume designer that he met while filming The Rosebud Beach Hotel and with whom he had two children. He later wed actress Cathy Trien, with whom he also had two children. In 2013 he married his longtime girlfriend, actress Tracy Shayne. The couple remained together until Scolari's death.


Death
Scolari died from leukemia in Manhattan on October 22, 2021, at age 66. He had been diagnosed with the disease two years earlier.


Filmography


Film


Television


References


External links
Peter Scolari at IMDb
Peter Scolari discography at Discogs
Peter Scolari at the Internet Broadway Database
Peter Scolari at Rotten Tomatoes



Biography from Wikipedia (see original) under licence CC BY-SA 3.0

 

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