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Robert Pastorelli

Robert Pastorelli

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Also Known As: Died: March 8, 2004
Born: June 21, 1954 Cause of Death: drug overdose
Birth Place: New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Tough but soft-hearted, this imposing supporting player gives off the same "dese, dem and dose" aura as the earlier William Bendix and Sheldon Leonard. Pastorelli was heading for a career as a truck driver or a boxer when a serious car accident made him re-think his goals and enter acting. He started onstage in the 1970s, playing off-Broadway in "Death of a Salesman," "Bus Stop," "The Rainmaker," "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and others before heading west to act on TV.He made his small-screen debut guesting on "Barney Miller" and soon began turning up on such shows as "Mary," "Beauty and the Beast," "MacGyver," "The A-Team," "Miami Vice" and "Hill Street Blues." From 1988-1995, he played his star-making part, Eldin Bernecky, Candice Bergen's ever-present housepainter and hip confidante, on "Murphy Brown" (CBS). In 1995, Pastorelli starred in his own short-lived sitcom as a bicycle messenger in "Double Rush" (CBS), also produced by Diane English.His TV-movie roles have shown a great deal of versatility. Of course, he started with bits in "Diner" (CBS, 1983), "I Married a Centerfold" (NBC, 1984) and "California Girls" (ABC, 1985). But after his "Murphy Brown" fame, Pastorelli began getting good...

Tough but soft-hearted, this imposing supporting player gives off the same "dese, dem and dose" aura as the earlier William Bendix and Sheldon Leonard. Pastorelli was heading for a career as a truck driver or a boxer when a serious car accident made him re-think his goals and enter acting. He started onstage in the 1970s, playing off-Broadway in "Death of a Salesman," "Bus Stop," "The Rainmaker," "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and others before heading west to act on TV.

He made his small-screen debut guesting on "Barney Miller" and soon began turning up on such shows as "Mary," "Beauty and the Beast," "MacGyver," "The A-Team," "Miami Vice" and "Hill Street Blues." From 1988-1995, he played his star-making part, Eldin Bernecky, Candice Bergen's ever-present housepainter and hip confidante, on "Murphy Brown" (CBS). In 1995, Pastorelli starred in his own short-lived sitcom as a bicycle messenger in "Double Rush" (CBS), also produced by Diane English.

His TV-movie roles have shown a great deal of versatility. Of course, he started with bits in "Diner" (CBS, 1983), "I Married a Centerfold" (NBC, 1984) and "California Girls" (ABC, 1985). But after his "Murphy Brown" fame, Pastorelli began getting good character parts. He was a nasty bounty hunter in "Robin Cook's 'Harmful Intent'" (CBS, 1993), Jean Smart's schizophrenic husband in the heart-warming "Yarn Princess" (ABC, 1994) and was in the ensemble of Ernest Thompson's all-star "West Side Waltz" (CBS, 1995).

Pastorelli's breakthrough film role was as a frontiersman driving Kevin Costner across the country in 1990's Oscar-winning "Dances With Wolves." Although he had made his debut alongside Bette Midler and Shelley Long in "Outrageous Fortune" (1987), he is perhaps better recalled as the hood from whom the undercover Eddie Murphy wants 2,000 American Express cards in the opening Detroit segment in "Beverly Hills Cop II" (also 1987). Other credits include providing the voice of Tony in "FernGully: The Last Rainforest" (1992), playing Whoopi Goldberg's manager in "Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit" (1993) and co-starring as a former victim of Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Eraser" (1996). Also in 1996, he co-starred as one of the reporters trying to disprove the angelic credentials of John Travolta's "Michael" in Nora Ephron's successful film. Pastorelli continued to work on the big screen in the crime caper "The Asphalt Quintet" (lensed 1996) and the fantasy "A Simple Wish" (1997).

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Be Cool (2005) Joe Loop
2.
 WOMEN vs. MEN (2002) Nick
3.
4.
 Ballad of Lucy Whipple, The (2001) Clyde Claymore
5.
 Bait (2000)
6.
 Scotch and Milk (1998) The Skipper
7.
 Heist (1998)
8.
 Revenant (1998) Count Dracula
9.
 Simple Wish, A (1997) Oliver
10.
 Eraser (1996) Johnny C
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Edison, New Jersey
1973:
Critically injured in automobile accident
:
Appeared in several Ensemble Studio Theatre stage productions
1982:
Moved to Los Angeles
:
Series debut (bit part) in "Barney Miller"
1987:
Film debut in "Outrageous Fortune"
1988:
Played Eldin Bernecky on the popular CBS sitcom, "Murphy Brown" (CBS)
1990:
Breakthrough film role, as Timmons the mule driver in "Dances With Wolves"
1995:
Starred in short-lived CBS sitcom, "Double Rush"
1996:
Co-starred in hit film "Michael"
1997:
Returned to series TV in the title role of the ABC detective drama "Cracker", based on the British series
2001:
Had co-starring role in the CBS movie "The Ballad of Lucy Whipple", executive produced and starring Glenn Close
2001:
Portrayed sailor Luther Billis in the ABC remake of "South Pacific", featuring Glenn Close as Nellie Forbush
:
Portrayed one of a group of men who are caught by their wives at a lap dance club in the Showtime movie "Oooph" (lensed 2001)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

New York Academy of Theatrical Arts: New York , New York -
Actors Studio: New York , New York -

Notes

"You do a show and go home and don't realize the impact you're having. Then one day you're returning Christmas presents at a mall in New Jersey and you hear people behind you talking. You say, oh, yeah. I do that TV thing. Yeah." --Robert Pastorelli, quoted in USA TODAY, April 27, 1992

"I don't watch a lot of television. Boxing and those animal shows--I can tell you who the super flyweight champion of the world is and explain the mating habits of the wildebeest." --Robert Pastorelli quoted in DAILY NEWS, January 4, 1995

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Keri Ann Kimball. Actor. Long-time relationship ended in mid-1990s.
companion:
Cheramon Jonovich. Born c. 1973; died of apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on March 16, 1999.
companion:
Glenn Close. Actor, producer. Met in 1999; both claim to be "good friends" and deny any romantic involvement.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Ledo Pastorelli. Insurance salesperson.
mother:
Dotty Pastorelli. Artist.
sister:
Gwen Pastorelli. Opera singer. Older.
daughter:
Gianna Pastorelli. Born on February 6, 1998; mother, Cheramon Jonovich.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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