Family & Companions
Jowly character player who honed his skills with San Francisco's American Conservatory Theatre before making his film debut in "Alex in Wonderland" (1970). After several small film roles, Lerner gained notice for his performance as Katz, the Machiavellian lawyer, in Bob Rafelson's "The Postman Always Rings Twice" (1981) and as World Series "fixer" Arnold Rothstein in John Sayles' "Eight Men Out" (1988).
Lerner has since made a name for himself in TV movies, portraying real-life characters Pierre Salinger, in "The Missiles of October" (1974), Jack Ruby, in "Ruby and Oswald" (1978), film mogul Jack Warner, in "Moviola: This Year's Blonde" (1980), Columbia studio head Harry Cohn, in "Rita Hayworth: The Love Goddess" (1983), and impresario Oscar Hammerstein, in "Melba" (1989). His big-screen portrait of crass, fictitious film mogul Jack Lipnick, in the Coen brothers satire "Barton Fink" (1991), earned him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. His subsequent film roles (e.g., "Newsies" 1992; "No Escape" 1994) did not fully take advantage of his abilities. In 1996, Lerner was cast as the lawyer father of a young Beverly Hills teen in the ABC sitcom version of the big screen hit "Clueless" (inheriting the role created by Dan Hedaya), however, when the show switched networks to UPN and was revamped for the 1997-98 season, Lerner's character was dropped.
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Cast (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Stunts (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Appeared as bicycle salesman on "The Brady Bunch" (ABC)
Made film debut in Paul Mazursky's "Alex in Wonderland"
Played Fat Rolly on two episodes of "Starsky and Hutch" (ABC)
Cast as Lee Harvey Oswald's killer Jack Ruby in "Ruby and Oswald" (CBS)
Appeared on the New York stage in "Twelfth Night," directed by David Mamet
Landed a supporting role in "The Postman Always Rings Twice"
Returned to Los Angeles stage opposite Sean Penn and Danny Aiello in "Hurlyburly"
Played New York mafia kingpin in "Eight Men Out" opposite John Cusack and Charlie Sheen
Cast as Bugsy Calhoune in Eddie Murphy's "Harlem Nights"
Appeared in the family musical "Newsies"
Cast as Cher's (Rachel Blanchard) father on the ABC sitcom version of "Clueless"
Cast as Mayor Ebert in "Godzilla"
Appeared in Jon Favreau's holiday comedy "Elf," starring Will Ferrell
Played a conservative U.S. Senator with a gay son in "Poster Boy"
Starred as the patriarch in the Jewish comedy "When Do We Eat?"
Cast in the Coen Brothers' drama "A Serious Man"
Appeared in the fantasy comedy "Mirror Mirror," starring Julia Roberts as the Evil Queen and Lily Collins as Snow White