New York native Richard Kline gained status as a 1970s icon thanks to his role as dark-haired disco king Larry Dallas, a sleazy bachelor on the oft-repeated sitcom "Three's Company" (ABC, 1977-84), but traded in his barely-buttoned shirt and gold medallion for more behind the scenes pursuits and scattered guest roles before returning to a starring sitcom role as a charming gray-haired dad in NBC's "Inside Schwartz" (2001). An appealing stage-trained actor who earned his MFA from Northwestern and made his acting debut with the Lincoln Center Repertory Company, Kline racked up stage credits before tackling television. An early TV guest role on a 1976 episode of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (CBS) and a part in the 1977 NBC miniseries "Seventh Avenue" predated his long run on "Three's Company". Following that success, he was to star in "His and Hers", a 1984 CBS sitcom that never made it past the pilot stage, though interestingly later starred in the similarly titled, short-lived sitcom "His & Hers" (1990) on the same network.
Guest work on such popular dramas as "Hill Street Blues", "St. Elsewhere" and "Hunter" (all NBC) kept the actor on the small screen, where he began working as a director, counting among his credits the sitcoms "Evening Shade" (CBS) and "Harry and the Hendersons" (syndicated). Intermittently appearing on television with guest shots throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Kline spent a year on the CBS soap "The Bold and the Beautiful" (1995-96) and earned some big screen credit in the Dennis Dugan comedies "Problem Child" (1990) and "Beverly Hills Ninja" (1997).
While the stage has been a consistent and rewarding source of work for Kline as an actor and director, (including a stint as a Sam Goldwyn-like movie producer in the Broadway musical "City of Angels" and a critically-acclaimed turn in the Off-Broadway one-man show "Boychik"), his film appearances, like his supporting turn in Barry Levinson's "Liberty Heights" (1999), were rare. The actor returned to the world of TV regulars on the Nickelodeon children's series "Noah Knows Best" (2000-01) and hoped to reach a wider audience on NBC's Thursday night lineup entry "Inside Schwartz" playing the gregarious Gene Schwartz, father of Breckin Meyer's Adam, whose active inner monologue and fantasy world served as sitcom fodder. Unfortunately, the series never caught on with viewers and was cancelled before the end of the year.