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Bert Remsen

Bert Remsen

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Also Known As: Died: April 22, 1999
Born: February 25, 1925 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Glen Cove, New York, USA Profession: actor, casting director

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Stocky, gritty-looking character player with a shock of wavy hair, bushy eyebrows and strong, lined features. After serving in the Navy in WWII and receiving a Purple Heart, Remsen studied acting at Ithaca College and the Neighborhood Playhouse. During his tenure at the latter in the early 1950s, he performed on Broadway in "The Rainmaker" and in Mae West's revival of her legendary 20s success "Diamond Lil". Remsen also acted on TV in NY-based anthology dramas, including the acclaimed "U.S. Steel Hour" presentation of "Bang the Drum Slowly" (1956) with Paul Newman. Stage tours brought him to Hollywood, where he made his feature debut in Lewis Milestone's "Pork Chop Hill" (1959). In 1964, Remsen's burgeoning career in features and TV was derailed by an accident on the set of a TV show in which he was performing. He made a handful of appearances during the next decade, but Remsen worked primarily during this period as a casting director for MGM Television, Lorimar, Spelling-Goldberg Productions and Quinn Martin Productions. The early 70s saw not only the gradual return of Remsen the actor, but also the start of one of his most important creative collaborations. Robert Altman first cast Remsen in a...

Stocky, gritty-looking character player with a shock of wavy hair, bushy eyebrows and strong, lined features. After serving in the Navy in WWII and receiving a Purple Heart, Remsen studied acting at Ithaca College and the Neighborhood Playhouse. During his tenure at the latter in the early 1950s, he performed on Broadway in "The Rainmaker" and in Mae West's revival of her legendary 20s success "Diamond Lil". Remsen also acted on TV in NY-based anthology dramas, including the acclaimed "U.S. Steel Hour" presentation of "Bang the Drum Slowly" (1956) with Paul Newman. Stage tours brought him to Hollywood, where he made his feature debut in Lewis Milestone's "Pork Chop Hill" (1959).

In 1964, Remsen's burgeoning career in features and TV was derailed by an accident on the set of a TV show in which he was performing. He made a handful of appearances during the next decade, but Remsen worked primarily during this period as a casting director for MGM Television, Lorimar, Spelling-Goldberg Productions and Quinn Martin Productions.

The early 70s saw not only the gradual return of Remsen the actor, but also the start of one of his most important creative collaborations. Robert Altman first cast Remsen in a small role in his striking, satirical fantasy "Brewster McCloud" (1970); the actor subsequently appeared in most of Altman's 70s films, including in "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" (1971), "California Split" (1974), "Nashville" (1975) and "The Wedding" (1978). Some of the suitably weathered Remsen's finest work for Altman was as the mangy T-Dub in "Thieves Like Us" (1974), a fine, moody remake of the classic film noir "They Drive By Night" (1948).

A prolific actor from the mid-70s on, Remsen has played a wide range of supporting roles, both large and small, in high-profile films including "Places in the Heart" (1984, memorable as Tee Tot Hightower), "Dick Tracy" (1990), "The Bodyguard" (1992) and "Maverick" (1994). Many of his credits, though, are in smaller films ranging from the uneven but worthy drama, "Inside Moves" (1980), to the standardized but watchable actioner, "Code of Silence" (1985), to the ambitious but off-kilter adaptation, "Miss Firecracker" (1989), and the warm comedy of "Only the Lonely" (1991). His last released film was 1999's "Forces of Nature".

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Sky Is Falling, The (1999) Mr. Finch
2.
 Lansky (1999) Senator Tobey
3.
 Forces of Nature (1999) Ned
4.
 Tycus (1998) Randall Barnett
5.
 Crime of the Century (1996) Dr John Condon
6.
 Humanoids From the Deep (1996) Duffy--The Coroner
7.
 White Man's Burden (1995) Hot Dog Vendor
8.
 Maverick (1994) Riverboat Poker Player
9.
 Come Die With Me (1994) Geezer
10.
 Secret Sins of the Father (1994) Judge Kleiser
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1943:
Served with the US Navy during WWII; was decorated with a Purple Heart
:
While studying at the Neighborhood Playhouse, acted on Broadway in supporting roles with Mae West in her revival of her play "Diamond Lil", and also in "The Rainmaker", which starred Geraldine Page and Darren McGavin
:
Also acted in early New York-based TV, including the anthology drama programs, "Playwrights '56" and "Kraft Theatre"; one of most notable appearances was in the acclaimed presentation, "Bang the Drum Slowly" (1956), which starred Paul Newman and aired on the "U.S. Steel Hour"
:
Acted in touring stage shows in the later 1950s, including "The Rainmaker" in Chicago and "Finian's Rainbow" in the South and in Puerto Rico; then settled in Hollywood
1959:
Feature film debut, "Pork Chop Hill"
:
Was severed injured in an accident while on the set of a TV series in 1964 and, with occasional exceptions, spent much of the next decade-plus working as a top casting agent
:
Worked as a casting director for Quinn Martin Productions' ABC drama series, "The F.B.I." (1965-1974), for other Quinn Martin projects, and for MGM Television, Lorimar and Spelling-Goldberg Productions
1970:
First film with director Robert Altman, "Brewster McCloud"
1971:
First TV-movie, "If Tomorrow Comes"
1974:
Feature film credits began to pick up again
1976:
Debut as TV series regular: played the role of Pell, the city editor, on the short-lived NBC serial drama, "Gibbsville"
1978:
First TV miniseries, "The Awakening Land"
:
Played Mario on the ABC sitcom, "It's a Living"
1987:
Played recurring role of 'Dandy' Dandridge on one season of the CBS primetime serial drama, "Dallas"
1990:
Played Daddy in "Daddy's Dyin'...Who's Got the Will"
1992:
Last of eight films with Robert Altman, a cameo appearance as himself alongside brother Guy
1999:
Appeared in "Forces of Nature"
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Education

Ithaca College: Ithaca , New York - 1949
The Neigborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre: New York , New York - 1950 - 1954

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Barbara Joyce Remsen. Casting director. Married c. 1958.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Winfred Herbert Remsen.
mother:
Helen Remsen.
brother:
Guy Remsen. Actor.
daughter:
Ann Manners. Casting director. Has two children.
daughter:
Kerry Remsen. Actor.
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