Family & Companions
A character player and occasional leading man of TV and infrequent feature films, Michael Durrell is best recalled for his recurring role as the father of Donna Martin (Tori Spelling), on "Beverly Hills, 90210," a role he has played since 1992. After studying acting with Stella Adler, he began his career in NYC playing Peter Wexler on the CBS daytime drama "The Guiding Light" for several years. Durrell made the move to primetime with a guest appearance on a 1977 episode of "Kojak" and soon after was playing roles in TV-movies ("A Killing Affair" CBS, 1977) and miniseries ("The Immigrants" syndicated, 1978).
Olive-complexioned, with a full head of brown hair, Durrell was brought out to Hollywood in 1980 to be a supporting player on "Nobody's Perfect" (ABC), a vehicle for Ron Moody. When that show soon failed, he was slotted as Diana Canova's neurotic brother in the short-lived ABC sitcom "I'm A Big Girl Now." Durrell also appeared in "Shannon" (CBS, 1981) and was Linda Lavin's love interest on the final season (1984-85) of CBS' of "Alice." From 1986-89, he was the D.A. forever losing cases to Andy Griffith's "Matlock." Also in the 80s, Durrell was a regular on the NBC daytime drama "Santa Barbara" for a year and a half.
Longform TV has given Durrell meatier roles. He was the backboned father in the 1983 NBC miniseries "V" and that same season was NEW YORK TIMES reporter covering a southern election in the CBS miniseries "Chiefs." Durrell also lent his talents to "Have You Tried Talking to Patty?," a 1986 "CBS Schoolbreak Special," playing the father of a deaf rebellious teen. He worked in another "CBS Schoolbreak Special" in 1993, this time as a police lieutenant investigating hate crimes in "Crosses on the Lawn."
Durrell has worked only sporadically in feature films, beginning with "Thank God It's Friday" in 1978 and is perhaps best recalled as Harvey Keitel's lawyer in "Sister Act" (1992). He is married to former TV executive and daytime drama producer Charlotte Savitz.
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
TV episodic debut, "Kojak" (CBS)
TV-movie debut, "A Killing Affair" (CBS)
Feature film debut, "Thank God It's Friday"
TV miniseries debut, "The Immigrants"
TV series debut in "Nobody's Perfect" (ABC)
Co-starred on TV series "I'm a Big Girl Now" (ABC)
Had key role in CBS miniseries "Chiefs"
Starred in NBC miniseries "V"
Had regular role on "Santa Barbara" (NBC)
Had small role in "Sister Act"