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Also Known As: Kenneth Joseph Howard Jr. Died:
Born: March 28, 1944 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: El Centro, California, USA Profession: actor, producer, composer, screenwriter, college instructor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A Tony Award-winning Broadway actor at the beginning of his career, Ken Howard enjoyed a few leading primetime television roles in the 1970s, but spent the majority of his career as a prolific character actor in film and on television. Howard's most memorable headlining television role was that of a retired NBA player-turned-coach of an inner city high school basketball coach on "The White Shadow" (CBS, 1978-1981), which showcased his talent for conveying authority and leadership softened by an emotional accessibility. That quality led Howard to be cast in countless guest roles as judges, doctors and men of the cloth on procedural dramas and sitcoms alike. Meanwhile, he starred as many an athlete and protective family man in decades of made-for-television movies. Longer-running recurring roles on "Crossing Jordan" (NBC, 2001-07), "Melrose Place" (Fox, 1992-99), "Dallas" (CBS, 1978-1991) and "Cane" (CBS, 2007) assured that the prolific character player maintained his name recognition throughout his career, though his onscreen presence invariably brought up fond memories of the groundbreaking, racially mixed television series that established his career.

A Tony Award-winning Broadway actor at the beginning of his career, Ken Howard enjoyed a few leading primetime television roles in the 1970s, but spent the majority of his career as a prolific character actor in film and on television. Howard's most memorable headlining television role was that of a retired NBA player-turned-coach of an inner city high school basketball coach on "The White Shadow" (CBS, 1978-1981), which showcased his talent for conveying authority and leadership softened by an emotional accessibility. That quality led Howard to be cast in countless guest roles as judges, doctors and men of the cloth on procedural dramas and sitcoms alike. Meanwhile, he starred as many an athlete and protective family man in decades of made-for-television movies. Longer-running recurring roles on "Crossing Jordan" (NBC, 2001-07), "Melrose Place" (Fox, 1992-99), "Dallas" (CBS, 1978-1991) and "Cane" (CBS, 2007) assured that the prolific character player maintained his name recognition throughout his career, though his onscreen presence invariably brought up fond memories of the groundbreaking, racially mixed television series that established his career.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Judge, The (2014)
2.
 A.C.O.D. (2013)
3.
 Beacon, The (2009)
4.
 Rambo (2008)
5.
 Smother (2008)
6.
 Proud American (2008)
7.
 Grey Gardens (2007)
8.
 Michael Clayton (2007)
9.
 Arc (2006)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1960:
Made stage debut in a Manhasset production of "Annie Get Your Gun"
1967:
Left Yale University to take small part in the Broadway production of "Promises, Promises"
1969:
Appeared as Thomas Jefferson in "1776" on Broadway
1970:
Won raves for his work in "Child's Play" on Broadway
1970:
Made film debut in "Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon"
1972:
Recreated role of Jefferson in the feature film "1776"; first collaboration with Blythe Danner
1973:
Made TV series debut on the ABC sitcom "Adam's Rib"; again starred opposite Danner
1974:
Played the title role on the short-lived CBS series "Manhunter"
1977:
Collaborated with Blythe Danner in the TV-movie "The Court Martial of George Armstrong Custer" (NBC)
1978:
Starred on the CBS drama series "The White Shadow"
1983:
Returned to sitcoms with "It's Not Easy" (ABC)
1985:
Played the regular role of Garrett Boydston on both ABC shows "Dynasty" and "The Colbys"
1986:
Hosted the syndicated series "Dream Girl USA"
1990:
Co-wrote and co-produced the feature "Challenge the Wind"
1994:
Had a recurring role on Fox's "Melrose Place" as George Andrews, Jane Mancini's (Josie Bissett) father
1995:
Co-starred in "The Net" with Sandra Bullock
1995:
Appeared in the off-Broadway production of "Camping with Henry and Tom"
1999:
Portrayed Val Kilmer's father in "At First Sight"
2001:
Returned to series work playing the retired policeman/bar owner father of Jill Hennesey's title character in NBC's "Crossing Jordan"
2003:
Published the book <i>Act Natural: How to Speak to Any Audience</i>, based on the drama courses he has taught at Harvard University
2005:
Played the father of Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette in the film adaptation of Jennifer Weiner's "In Her Shoes"
2007:
Cast as the primary villain on the short-lived CBS series "Cane" with Jimmy Smits
2007:
Co-starred with George Clooney and Tilda Swinton in Tony Gilroy's "Michael Clayton"
2009:
Gave an acclaimed performance as Phelan Beale, Big Edie's husband (Jessica Lange) in the HBO film "Grey Gardens"
2011:
Guest starred on NBC's "30 Rock"
2011:
Portrayed Harlan Fiske Stone in the biographical drama "J. Edgar," directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Leonardo DiCaprio
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Manhasset High School: Manhasset , New York -
Amherst College: Amherst , Massachusetts -
Yale University: New Haven , Connecticut -

Notes

Howard underwent a kidney transplant in July 2000. The donor was stuntwoman Jeannie Epper whose brother Tony was Howard's stunt double on the TV series "Manhunter". (Source: People, October 2, 2000)

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Louise Sorel. Divorced from Mortensen's mother; remarried.
wife:
Louise Sorel. Actor. Divorced.
wife:
Margo Lederer. Writer. Daughter of advice columnist Ann Landers (Esther Pauline Lederer); previously married to hotelier John Coleman with whom she had son Adam; divorced.
wife:
Margo Lederer. Divorced from Mortensen's father.
wife:
Linda Howard. Stuntwoman. Born c. 1955.
wife:
Linda Howard. Actor.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Kenneth J Howard Sr. Broker. Died on May 14, 1995 of complication from Alzheimer's Disease at age 79.
father:
Kenneth J Howard Sr. Musician. Trumpet player; separated from his mother at the age of three.
mother:
Martha Carrey. Has four children.
brother:
Donald Howard. Actor, stage manager. Born c. 1952; died of liver disease on August 14, 1999 at age 47.
brother:
Donald Howard. Survived him.
step-son:
Adam Coleman Howard. Director, screenwriter, actor.
step-son:
Adam Coleman Howard. Survived him.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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