Adrian Zmed

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Adrian Zmed
AdrianZmedOct08 cropped.jpg
Zmed in October 2008
Born Adrian George Zmed
(1954-03-14) March 14, 1954 (age 61)
Chicago, Illinois
Occupation Actor
Years active 1978–present

Adrian George Zmed (born March 14, 1954)[1] is an American television personality and film actor noted for the roles of "Johnny Nogerelli" in Grease 2 and "Officer Vince Romano" in the T.J. Hooker television series.

Early life[edit]

Zmed was born in Chicago on March 14, 1954, the son of George Zmed (b. April 24, 1916 — d. January 12, 2010),[2] a Romanian Orthodox priest, who served from 1952 until his retirement in 1983,[3] and his wife, Persida (née Golub). His father, George, was a first-generation American born in Chicago to Romanian parents, Nicolae and Paraschiva (née Bălan), who had immigrated from Comloşu Mare, Timişoara in the early 20th century. At the age of five, George and his family returned to Romania where he was educated, and lived there until returning to the United States in November 1952.[4] George married Romanian-born Persida Golub on October 15, 1942 in Timisoara. The couple had three sons, in the following order: Cornel, Walter, and Adrian, which, in turn, gave them eight grandchildren.

Zmed graduated from Lane Tech High School in Chicago. He began playing football as halfback for the Lane Tech High School team until he broke a bone in his leg, which in turn punctured a major artery, while playing.[5] He quit sports and began acting, appearing in his high school's production of Guys and Dolls. After being featured on a local TV show as one of Chicago's top high school performers, Zmed transferred to the Goodman School of Drama and began studying voice at the Chicago Conservatory of Music.[5]

He graduated with a BFA from the famed Goodman School of Drama. His first major acting gig was the role of the male lead, Danny Zuko, in the national touring company production of Grease. He later appeared in the Broadway stage musical three times, twice in the role of Zuko. In the original Broadway production of Grease, he starred with Jeff Conaway, who played Kenickie in the 1978 motion picture Grease. At 40, Zmed revived the role of Danny Zuko during the show's revival in 1995.

Early TV career[edit]

In 1978, Zmed made his television debut, appearing as "Marty Decker" in two episodes of ABC's Starsky and Hutch. From there, he won the role of "Socks Palermo" in the short-lived CBS television series Flatbush (1979), based upon the Sylvester Stallone & Henry Winkler film, The Lords of Flatbush.[6] Following the show's cancellation, he was cast as "Frankie Millardo" in Goodtime Girls,[7] which was also cancelled after just one season (1980).

Zmed also received several guest roles on popular series of the day, including Angie,[8] I'm a Big Girl Now[9] and Bosom Buddies,[10] and made a guest appearance in 1982's An Evening at the Improv.

T.J. Hooker[edit]

He reached celebrity status as "Officer Romano" in ABC's T.J. Hooker, a television series about the life of a Los Angeles, California, cop. Zmed played "Fred Feliciano" in the TV movie Victims for Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story (1984) and made guest appearances on a number of television shows throughout the 80s and 90s, including Hotel, Empty Nest, Murder, She Wrote and Caroline in the City. Zmed departed from T.J. Hooker in 1985 when the show moved to CBS, choosing instead to replace Deney Terrio as host of Dance Fever for the final two seasons of the syndicated series' run following Terrio's departure.


Following the huge success of John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in the movie version of Grease, Paramount Pictures quickly secured the rights to a sequel, and cast Zmed as "Johnny Nogerelli", the new leader of the "T-Birds", in Grease 2.[11] Though it did not fare as well as its predecessor, the film was a modest success, and Zmed's performance in his first motion picture led to other movie roles, including 1983's The Final Terror, and his breakout role as "Jay O'Neill" in 1984's Bachelor Party, with Tom Hanks.

Return to theatre[edit]

Zmed returned to stage work in the 1990s. He headlined the musical Children of Eden at the Paper Mill Playhouse, and starred in three shows on Broadway: Falsettos, Blood Brothers, and Grease.

He most recently appeared as Noah in the musical The Ark,[12] in New York City, and in the 2006 Stan Harrington film, The Craving Heart.

Current work[edit]

Zmed provided the voiceover for "Toth" in the 2002 video game, Star Wars Jedi Starfighter, and was under contract until April 2009 with Princess Cruise Lines to perform "Adrian Zmed, In Concert...", aboard the Coral Princess and the Island Princess. The show debuted June 25, 2008 on the Coral Princess "Voyage of the Glaciers" sailing from Vancouver, Canada, north to Alaska in the Universe Lounge.

Zmed has appeared as himself on VH1's I Love the 80s, Saturday Night Live and Zmed also filled in for the sick Cooky The Clown on The Bozo Show. He appeared as Basil (the "floating head") on the NBC soap opera Passions and participated in VH1's Confessions of a Teen Idol, a reality show in which former teen idols attempt to revitalize their entertainment careers.[13] In 2006, he filmed a 30-second PSA on chained dogs for the humane non-profit Dogs Deserve Better organization.[14]

Zmed is currently appearing as Nick in "Surf The Musical" at the Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. (2012)

Personal life[edit]

Zmed has two sons, Zachary and Dylan, with his first wife and high school sweetheart, Barbara Fitzner, whom he married in 1976. He then married singer and actress Susan Wood, but they divorced later. Zmed speaks Romanian as well as English.

Zachary and Dylan are currently in a Los Angeles-based rock group named The Janks.[15][16]


  1. ^ Zmed, Adrian. "Today is not my birthday people...but thanks for the thoughts. My birthday is March 14.". Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "Obituary: George Zmed". Retrieved 2010-01-13. 
  3. ^ "The Romanian Orthodox Church Chicago". Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  4. ^ "In Memoriam: Archpriest George Zmed". Retrieved 2010-01-14. 
  5. ^ a b Suzanne, Murph (January 20, 1984). "Adrian Zmed: Interview "Capturing Criminals and Fans"". Teen Magazine. Archived from the original on 15 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-12. 
  6. ^ "Flatbush". Internet Movie Database. 
  7. ^ "The Goodtime Girls". Internet Movie Database. 
  8. ^ "Angie". Internet Movie Database. 
  9. ^ "I'm a Big Girl Now". Internet Movie Database. 
  10. ^ "Bosom Buddies". Internet Movie Database. 
  11. ^ "Adrian Zmed Biography". 
  12. ^ Brad Bradley. "A CurtainUp Review: The Ark". CurtainUp. 
  13. ^ Confessions of a Teen Idol's VH1 Page
  14. ^ "Dogs Deserve Better". 
  15. ^ "". 
  16. ^ "". 

External links[edit]