Leonard Frey

Actor
Stage character actor who often appeared in comedy or musical comedy roles, frequently in priggish or fey roles, Leonard Frey earned an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor for playing Motel the tailor in ... Read more »
Born: 09/03/1938 in Brooklyn, New York, USA

Filmography

Actor (18)

Mr. Sunshine 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Mr. Smith 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

The Earthlings 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Best of the West 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

Fit For a King 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

Tattoo 1981 (Movie)

Halsey (Actor)

Mad Magazine Presents: Up the Academy 1980 (Movie)

Keck (Actor)

Where the Buffalo Roam 1980 (Movie)

Desk Clerk (Actor)

Phillip and Barbara 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

Fiddler on the Roof 1971 (Movie)

Motel (Actor)

Neither Are We Enemies 1969 - 1970 (TV Show)

Actor

Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon 1970 (Movie)

Guiles (Actor)

The Boys in the Band 1970 (Movie)

Harold (Actor)

The Magic Christian 1969 (Movie)

Passenger on Ship (Actor)

Passages From James Joyce's Finnegans Wake 1964 (Movie)

Celebrant (Actor)

Bride of Boogedy (TV Show)

Actor

Shirts/Skins (TV Show)

Actor

Testimony of Two Men (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Stage character actor who often appeared in comedy or musical comedy roles, frequently in priggish or fey roles, Leonard Frey earned an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor for playing Motel the tailor in the screen version of "Fiddler on the Roof" (1971), but may have a more memorable impact as Harold, the self-described "pock-marked Jew fairy" in both the stage and screen versions of "The Boys in the Band" (1970).

Frey had originally intended to become an artist, but switched to acting while in college. He made his Off-Broadway stage debut in "Little Mary Sunshine," and won a Vernon Rice Award for "The Coach With Six Insides," Jean Erdman's adaptation of "Finnegan's Wake." He had previously made his film debut as a background celebrant in "Passages From James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake" (1965). Frey had appeared in "Fiddler on the Roof" on Broadway in the late 60s, but his role as Motel, the timid tailor, in the screen version gave made Hollywood aware of him. Still, subsequent film roles were sporadic, including "Where the Buffalo Roam" (1980) and "Tattoo" (1981).

More frequently, when not on stage somewhere, Frey would be working in TV. He broke into Hollywood via an episode of "Mission Impossible" in 1971, and appeared in a memorable "Mary Tyler Moore" episode in 1975 as the one student at the Ted Baxter Famous Broadcasters School. Frey became a series regular for the first time as the snide bad guy Parker Tillman who stole most of the laughs on the one-season ABC series "Best of the West" (1981-82). The next year, he was the human star of "Mr. Smith" (1983), more memorable as the series that starred a talking orangutan. Frey's last series foray was "Mr. Sunshine" (1986), in which he was a drama professor working alongside an acerbic man who had recently been blinded. Frey also appeared in occasional TV movies, including the comic "Shirts/Skins" (1973), which focused on male buddies who get away from their daily lives on the playing fields, and the syndicated "Testimony of Two Men" (1977). He was also Judas in a 1970 NBC special drama, "Neither Are We Enemies," a biblical-era story. Frey died from complications from AIDS in 1988.

Relationships

Charles Frey Sr

Father

Charles Frey Jr

Brother

EDUCATION

The Neigborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre

New York , New York

James Madison High School

Brooklyn , New York

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

New York , New York
left when decided on acting career

Milestones

1986

Co-starred in series "Mr. Sunshine"

1983

Starred in NBC series "Mr. Smith"

1973

Made TV movie debut in "Shirts/Skins"

1970

Co-starred as Motel the tailor in film version of "Fiddler on the Roof"; Made TV episodic debut on "Mission Impossible"

1969

Recreated his stage role of Harold in film version of "The Boys in the Band"

1965

Made screen debut in "Passages From James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake"

Made Off-Broadway debut in "Little Mary Sunshine"

Played bad guy Parker Tillman on "Best of the West"

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