A compact, curly-haired character player with bushy eyebrows over large brown eyes and malleable looks, Saul Rubinek has excelled in playing nebbishy professionals. Born in a displaced persons camp after WWII to Polish Holocaust survivors, he and his family emigrated to Canada when he was a mere eight months. As a child, Rubinek was enrolled in theater classes and by age 10 had made his professional acting debut on Canadian radio. While still in grade school, he regularly performed at the Ottawa Little Theatre, often playing both male and female children. Deciding early on to pursue a career as an actor (his father had been a performer in Yiddish theater in pre-war Europe), Rubinek dropped out of school at 16. Four years later, he was gainfully employed at his craft at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and later was a founding member of both the Toronto Free Theatre and the Theatre Passe Muraille.
By his early 30s, Rubinek made the transition to feature work, debuting in the uneven romantic comedy "Nothing Personal" (1980). Over the course of the next twenty-plus years, the actor essayed a number of shady lawyers ("Against All Odds" 1984; "Wall Street" 1987; "Bonfire of the Vanities" 1990), misguided or sleazy filmmakers ("Sweet Liberty" 1986; "True Romance" 1993) and outright criminals ("Getting Even With Dad" 1994). Rubinek has fared well in independent films, notably as a rabbi who renews a feud with a Holocaust survivor in the Canadian produced "The Quarrel" (1991) while finding the occasional meaty big screen role like his "biographer" in Clint Eastwood's Oscar-winning Western "Unforgiven" (1992) or portraying former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in Andrew Fleming's Watergate satire "Dick" (1999). Long harboring a desire to make a documentary based on the experiences of his parents, Rubinek did move behind the camera making his directorial debut with "Jerry & Tom" (1998), about two Chicago car salesmen who moonlight as Mob hit men.
On the small screen, Rubinek has proven equally prolific. He co-starred in the first made-for-cable TV-movie "The Terry Fox Story" (HBO, 1983) and had a recurring role on the CBS drama "The Equalizer" in the 1985-86 season. While his two stabs at regular series stardom, the 1989 NBC drama "Men" and the 1996 CBS sitcom "Ink," both met an early demise, Rubinek has proven an effective guest performer, perhaps most notably as the divorce lawyer who romances Jane Leeves' Daphne Moon on the NBC sitcom "Frasier" in 1999.
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Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Professional acting debut on radio at age 10
Dropped out of school at age 16
American TV debut in "Sanctuary of Fear"
Film debut in "Nothing Personal"
Won a Genie Award for his supporting turn in the thriller about cults, "Ticket to Heaven"
Played title role of a Los Angeles cab driver with a desire to be a private investigator in the busted NBC pilot "Dusty"
Had featured role in the award-winning PBS miniseries "Concealed Enemies", about the Alger Hiss spy case
Played recurring role on the CBS series "The Equalizer"
Cast in the short-lived ABC drama "Men"
Starred in the Canadian-produced "The Quarrel", about a writer and a Holocaust survivor who renew rivalries when they remeet; has claimed this is his favorite role
Appeared as the "biographer" W W Beauchamp in Clint Eastwood's Oscar-winning Western "Unforgiven"
Co-starred in the unsold pilot for a series based on the award-winning play and film "Driving Miss Daisy" (CBS), played Daisy's son Boolie
Essayed role as one of the doctors on the team tracking the AIDS virus in the HBO drama "And the Band Played On"
Acted in Oliver Stone's biopic "Nixon"; Dan Hedaya portrayed Bebe Rebozo
Feature directorial debut, "Jerry & Tom"; also produced; screened at film festivals
Cast as Henry Kissinger in Andrew Fleming's satirical look at Watergate, "Dick", starring Dan Hedaya as Richard M Nixon
Played recurring role of lawyer Donnie Douglas, who entered into romance with Daphne (Jane Leeves) on "Frasier" (NBC)
Starred opposite Joan Allen and Gary Oldman in Rob Lurie's "The Contender"
Starred opposite Nicolas Cage in "The Family Man"
Directed "Bleacher Bums"; premiered at the Chicago Film Festival; aired on Showtime in 2002
Played George 'Bullets' Durgom in the Television movie "Gleason" based on the life of Jackie Gleason