Imagine studying all night for a test, only to walk into the class and realize you studied for the wrong exam. That's what happened to actor Richard Portnow on "Good Morning, Vietnam" (1987), when he arrived in Bangkok and learned he had only a few days to learn a completely new role, that of Dan 'The Man' Levitan. But what could have been disaster turned into a highlight of the veteran character actor's career, which spanned from the New York City stage to Los Angeles TV studios. The Brooklyn-born Portnow brought a lifetime of eclectic experiences to his later-in-life profession, which made the jump from stage to screen in the 1980s with supporting roles in everything from "The Equalizer" (CBS, 1985-89) and "Tin Men" (1987) to "Radio Days" (1987) and "Say Anything..." (1989). By the '90s Portnow's rough and tumble demeanor had made him a go-to authority figure in increasingly high-profile projects such as "EZ Streets" (CBS, 1996-97), "Se7en" (1995) and "The Sopranos" (HBO, 1999-2007), where he portrayed pricey Mob lawyer Harold "Mel" Melvoin. And with his career still going strong with later roles on "Boston Legal" (Fox, 2004-08) and in "Hitchcock" (2012), Richard Portnow has become an enduring screen presence.