Richard Portnow Biography

Birthday: 2012-07-10
Place of Birth: Brooklyn, New York
Height: 6' (1.83 m)
Wiki Biography: A veteran of stage, film and television with a variety of characters to his credit, Richard Portnow was named one of the "Actors We Love" from the actors' trade newspaper Back Stage West. It said, "Portnow knows exactly how to hook an audience with every character." This Brooklyn native has worked steadily for 20 years and has built a solid list of credits, appearing in some of the most highly regarded and successful films and television shows of the past two decades. His entire family hails from Brooklyn. His folks, Al and Flo, are gone, but he has a brother (Jay), a sister (Gayle), two nephews (John and Sam) and three nieces (Samara, Ilana and Maia). He graduated with a BA degree as a speech and theater major from Brooklyn College. He did not shine while in college, and was discouraged from continuing as an actor with the critique that he was "hopeless and without any ability or talent" (he continues to wonder if the faculty was right). He has been a bartender, an antique dealer, a boxer, an international drug trafficker, a fifth-grade teacher in the NYC public school system, a competitive body builder, a truck driver, a bouncer, a bagel maker, a short-order cook, a marathon runner, a designer, a competitive gymnast, a background extra, a disco dancer at the famed "Arthur" discotheque, and a confused and aimless layabout. Richard is 6'0", weighs in at a trim 180 lb. and continues to box. He has excellent defensive skills and his ability to stop punches with his face has made him a local favorite. Portnow assayed the role of attorney Hal "Mel" Melvoin on the Emmy-winning HBO series "The Sopranos" (1999), the lawyer for Uncle Junior, whom he singlehandedly tried to keep out of prison and managed to get himself placed under house arrest instead. His rates for defending Corrado Soprano (Uncle Juniors's full name) are astronomical, but as Uncle June has said, "Mel, you're worth every penny". He has held this role since the show's inception in 1999. Richard began his professional career at the famed Cafe La Mama in New York City, appearing in plays by Tom Eyen, Leonard Melfi, Jeff Weiss, Megan Terry, Tom O'Horgan and Lanford Wilson. He won "The Best Newcomer of the Year" award from Show Business Magazine as a result of his early work off-off-Broadway. He continued his stage career with starring roles on Broadway in "The House of Blue Leaves" and "A Month of Sundays". He was in the original cast of "Moonchildren" at the prestigious Royal Court Theatre in London. He has also worked extensively at some of the most highly regarded regional theaters in the country, including The Long Wharf Theater, The Berkshire Theatre Festival for the brilliant director Josephine Abady, The Philadelphia Drama Guild, The Lowell Regional Theater and the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Neil Simon's "Oscar and Felix" at The Geffen Playhouse marked Richard's Los Angeles stage debut. His has also appeared in Woody Allen's "Writer's Block", which was directed by Allen at The Atlantic Theater Company in New York. Richard has been fortunate and privileged to work with some of the best directors in film today. Among those who have had a profound influence on him are Barry Levinson, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, David Fincher, Woody Allen, Sydney Pollack, James Foley, Jim Jarmusch, Heywood Gould, Cameron Crowe and Sidney Lumet. He has also appeared as a regular on the critically acclaimed series "EZ Streets" (1996) and on the police drama "Ryan Caulfield: Year One" (1999). He has had guest-starring appearances on "Seinfeld" (1990), "Mad About You" (1992), "Going to California" (2001), "Spin City" (1996), "NYPD Blue" (1993), "The Shield" (2002), "Dave's World" (1993), "Civil Wars" (1991), "Homefront" (1991), "Double Rush" (1995), "JAG" (1995), "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" (1993), "The Nanny" (1993), "Middle Ages" (1992), "The Commish" (1991) "Wiseguy" (1987) and "Walker, Texas Ranger" (1993). Richard has also starred in numerous movies of the week and mini series, most notably Neil Simon's Laughter on the 23rd Floor (2001) (TV), Double Bang (2001), Bella Mafia (1997) (TV), A Deadly Silence (1989) (TV), "Original Sin" (1997), Peter Gunn (1989) (TV) and Indictment: The McMartin Trial (1995) (TV). Richard resides in New York and Los Angeles with his feisty English Cocker Spaniel "HeyBoy" and his Chow/German Shepherd "Sweetie". He is an avid collector of Americana from the 1940s and 1950s, with special focus on the original oil paintings created for the "pulp magazine" covers of the 1930s and 1940s.

Richard PortnowPhotos & Pictures

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Filmography

TV Title Appeared As Year Genre
Father of the Bride 1991 Family
Perfect Strangers 1991 - 1992 Crime
There Goes The Neighborhood 1992 Comedy
Home Free Vic 1993 - 1993
Trial by Jury 1994 Thriller
EZ Streets Det. Frank Collero 1996 - 1997 Crime
Courage Frankie Ce De Baca 2000 - 2001
Outlaw Sen. Sidney Vidalin 2010
Movies Title Appeared As Year Genre
Good Morning, Vietnam 1987 0, 0
In Dangerous Company Kellog 1988 Action, Crime, Drama
Meet the Hollowheads 1989 0, Sport
Chattahoochee 1990 Drama
Tune in Tomorrow 1990
Kindergarten Cop 1990 Action, Comedy, Crime
Father of the Bride 1991 0
Barton Fink Detective Mastrionotti 1991 Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Sister Act 1992 0
There Goes the Neighborhood 1992 Comedy, Crime, Romance
Night Eyes Three Kaplan 1993 Drama, Thriller
Lipstick Camera Detective Vorkopich 1994
Trial by Jury Leo Greco 1994 Thriller, Crime, Drama
Man of the House Joey Renda, Frank's Son 1995 Comedy
Across the Moon Roy 1995 Comedy, Drama, Romance
Private Parts 1997 Comedy, Drama
Shadow of Doubt Marvin Helm 1998 Mystery, Thriller
Milo Lieutenant Parker 1998 Horror
Postal Worker Dr. Nicholas Brink 1998 Comedy, Thriller
Road Kill Charboneau 1999 Action, Comedy, Drama
Ballad of the Nightingale Arnie D'Angelo 1999 Romance
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai Handsome Frank 1999 Action, Crime, Drama
Lured Innocence Jack Shelby 2000 Drama, Thriller
The Unscarred Tommy Matolla 2000 Thriller
Desert Thunder Adm. Le Clair 2000 Action, Drama
Zigs Arnold Zigman 2001 Comedy, Drama
Happy Accidents 2001 Comedy, Sci Fi, Romance
Poolhall Junkies 2003 Drama, Thriller
Double Bang Lieutenant Shatkin 2003 Action, Crime, Thriller
Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding Vinnie Black 2004 Comedy
Under the City Minks 2005 Crime, Thriller
Meet the Mobsters Jerry Kaminski 2005 Comedy, Crime, Music
Find Me Guilty Max Novardis 2006 0, 0
The Indian Elliot 2007 Drama, Family, Romance
Perfect Stranger 2007 Comedy, 0
Perfect Strangers 2007 Crime, Drama, Mystery
Good Time Max Head Administrator 2007 Drama
Chasing Robert Ed Thorton 2007 Comedy
The Minis Jack 2008 Comedy, Sport
Tinker Bell Minister of Autumn 2008 Drama, 0, 0
Tinkerbell Minister of Autumn 2008 Animation, Adventure, Family
Under New Management Carmello Conforte 2009
Law Abiding Citizen Bill Reynolds 2009 0, Comedy, Game Show
Killer by Nature Walter 2010 Adventure, Crime, Drama
Made in Brooklyn Louis / Vito Ungaro 2010 Comedy, Drama
Two Jacks Lorenzo 2012 Comedy, Drama
Red Team Go The Pawn Shop Owner 2012 Comedy
A Night of Nightmares Cliff Tanner 2012 Thriller
Hitchcock Barney Balaban 2012 Biography, Drama
Underdogs John Handon II 2013 Drama, Family, Sport
Duke Carroll Green 2013 Drama
A Voice in the Dark Dr. Levi 2013 Drama
Dirty People Max 2014 Crime
This Last Lonely Place Jason Pure 2014 Crime, Drama, Thriller
Nanny Cam Detective Jones 2014 Drama, Mystery, Thriller
The Gold Rush Boogie Frankie gagalino 2015 Action
The Hack Dr. Benjamin 2015 Comedy
Demo The Professor 2015 Thriller
Parallel Stewart 2015 Drama
Swing State Shoe Montgomery 2016 Comedy
Guy Al 2018 0, 0