Richard Schaal

Richard Schaal was a comedian who was a pioneer of Chicago's Second City school of improv. He appeared in a variety of TV comedies, such as "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (CBS 1961-66) and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (CBS ... Read more »
Born: 05/05/1928 in Chicago, Illinois, USA

Filmography

Actor (16)

Just Our Luck 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

After George 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Voice

O'Hara's Wife 1982 (Movie)

Jerry Brad (Actor)

The Hollywood Knights 1980 (Movie)

Nevans (Actor)

Americathon 1979 (Movie)

Jerry (Actor)

Please Stand By 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

Phyllis 1975 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

The Mary Tyler Moore Show 1970 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

Nightmare 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

Bachelor at Law 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

Steelyard Blues 1973 (Movie)

Zoo Director (Actor)

Slaughterhouse-Five 1972 (Movie)

Campbell (Actor)

Story Theater 1971 - 1972 (TV Show)

Actor

Almost Grown (TV Show)

Actor

Let's Switch (TV Show)

Actor

Thursday's Game (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Richard Schaal was a comedian who was a pioneer of Chicago's Second City school of improv. He appeared in a variety of TV comedies, such as "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (CBS 1961-66) and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (CBS 1970-77). Schaal was born in Chicago, Illinois on May 5th, 1928 to a machinist father and a telephone operator mother. His first occupation was in construction, but he soon turned to drama. He enrolled in The Second City, the pioneering improv comedy school founded by Bernard Sahlins, shortly after it opened in 1959. Schaal's comedy was less cerebral than many of his contemporaries, such as Mike Nichols and Elaine May; his talents were in the realm of physical comedy and miming. Schaal eventually moved to Los Angeles and appeared in a variety of TV shows; his most notable roles included TV entertainer Chuckles the Clown on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and the abrasive Charlie on its spin-off "Rhoda" (CBS 1974-78), which starred Schaal's second wife, Valerie Harper, whom he married in 1964. Schaal's daughter from a previous marriage, Wendy Schaal, went on to become an actress and voiceover artist. In addition to his small-screen work, Schaal appeared in the comedy war film "The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming" (1966), and George Roy Hill's adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse-Five" (1972). His last notable film role came in the horror comedy "Once Bitten" (1985), in which he played the father of the main character, a young man (played by a Canadian comic named Jim Carrey, in his first leading role) seduced by a comely vampire. Schaal continued to take on small TV roles until his retirement in 1990. He passed away in Woodland Hills, CA at age 86 on November 4, 2014.

Relationships

Valerie Harper Actor

Wife
Married 1964 Divorced Jan. 29, 1978

Wendy Schaal Actor

Daughter
Born in Chicago to Richard and Lois Schaal.

Milestones

1974

Appeared On "Rhoda," starring his then-wife Valerie Harper.

1966

Appeared in "The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming."

Bonus Trivia

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Was one of the first members of Chicago's Second City.

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Was known for his physical comedy.

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Worked in construction before turning to acting and comedy.

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