Bronson Pinchot

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Bronson Pinchot
Bronson Pinchot 2012.jpg
Pinchot in 2012
Born Bronson Alcott Pinchot
(1959-05-20) May 20, 1959 (age 55)
New York, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1983–present

Bronson Alcott Pinchot (born May 20, 1959) is an American actor. He is best known for his role as Balki Bartokomous on the ABC sitcom Perfect Strangers, on which he starred from 1986 to 1993. Since 2012, he has been the host and star of his own reality series, The Bronson Pinchot Project on the DIY Network.

Pinchot has appeared in such feature films as Risky Business (1983), Beverly Hills Cop (1984), True Romance (1993), Beverly Hills Cop III (1994), It's My Party (1996), Courage Under Fire (1996), and The First Wives Club (1996), as well as on television in roles such as classic comic book villain The Prankster on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

In 2010 and 2011, AudioFile magazine recognized him as Best Voice in Fiction & Classics for his renderings of Flannery O'Connor's Everything That Rises Must Converge (1965), Karl Marlantes's Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War (2009), and David Vann's Caribou Island (2011), respectively.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Pinchot was born in Manhattan, the son of Rosina (née Asta), a typist, and Henry Pinchot (originally Poncharavsky), a bookbinder.[2][3] His mother was Italian-American, and his father, who was of Russian Bukharan Jewish descent, was born in New York and raised in Paris.[4][5][6] Pinchot was raised in southern California. He graduated from South Pasadena High School at the top of his class, and was appointed valedictorian. He earned a full scholarship to Yale University, where he was placed in Morse College. He graduated magna cum laude. Pinchot began his Yale career in fine art. However, after he was cast in a college play, a casting director discovered him, which resulted in a role in the 1983 feature film Risky Business.

Since 1999, Pinchot has spent a great deal of time in Harford, Pennsylvania, restoring the circa 1839 mansion of former Pennsylvania state Senator Edward Jones.[7] He has since purchased six properties in the small, rural town of 1,300[8] "in an effort to revive the town's 19th-century aesthetic."[7]


Pinchot at the 39th Primetime Emmy Awards (20 September 1987)

Pinchot has appeared in several feature films, including Risky Business, Beverly Hills Cop (and reprising his popular supporting role in Beverly Hills Cop III), The First Wives Club, True Romance, Courage Under Fire and It's My Party. According to Fisher Stevens, Pinchot was hired to play Stevens' character Ben Jabituya in the 1986 film Short Circuit at one point, but was fired.[9]

His first appearance as an ongoing character on a network television series was on the short-lived 1985 NBC sitcom Sara, starring Geena Davis, in which he played the openly-gay Dennis Kemper.[10] Pinchot is probably best known for his role in the ABC family sitcom Perfect Strangers (1986–1993) as Balki Bartokomous from the (fictional) Greek-like island of Mypos.

The year 2008 saw the release of Pinchot's reading of the novel The Learners in audio editions, author Chip Kidd's followup to The Cheese Monkeys. Pinchot was also the voice of Max, the fully restored Black 1964 VW Beetle in the 2009 Volkswagen "Das Auto" campaign.[11]

As of 2014 (and beginning in 2009), Bronson has narrated over 100 audiobooks, for which he has won a number of awards.[12] In 2010, Bronson read the audio version of the novels Matterhorn and Blood Oath. For the Blackstone Audio collection Patricia Highsmith: Selected Novels and Short Stories, Pinchot also provided a reading of several stories, as well as Highsmith's memorably creepy novel Strangers on a Train.[13] He was chosen by as their 2010 Narrator of the Year.[14]

Since February 12, 2012, Bronson has starred in a home restoration show on DIY Network based on his hobby of restoring old homes, using salvaged materials, The Bronson Pinchot Project.[15]



  1. ^ "Narrator Profile: Bronson Pinchot". Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  2. ^ "Bronson Pinchot Biography". Retrieved 2010-05-10. 
  3. ^ "Bronson Pinchot Biography". Yahoo! Movies. 
  4. ^ Brewster, Ted. "Harford's Bronson Pinchot". Susquehanna County Transcript (Susquehanna, PA). Retrieved March 30, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Perfect Strangers". 
  6. ^ Entertainment Weekly,,287199,00.html |url= missing title (help). 
  7. ^ a b Brewster, Ted. "A Harford Work in Progress". Susquehanna County Transcript (Susquehanna, Pennsylvania). Retrieved March 30, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Harford, Pennsylvania PA, township profile (Susquehanna County)". ePodunk. Retrieved 2010-05-10. 
  9. ^ Rabin, Nathan (2009-08-19). "Fisher Stevens". A.V. Club. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  10. ^ The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946–Present, Eighth Edition, Ballantine Books, ISBN 0-345-45542-8
  11. ^ Howard, Theresa (April 18, 2008). "Ad Track: Introducing Max the Love Bug". USA Today (New York, NY). Retrieved March 30, 2009. 
  12. ^ Jeff VanderMeer (July 22, 2014). "This Is the Best 5,453-Word Interview With Bronson Pinchot About Audiobooks You Will Ever Read". Vulture. Retrieved July 25, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Patricia Highsmith: Selected Novels and Short Stories". Blackstone Audio, Inc. Retrieved August 15, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Audible's Narrator of the Year". Bronson Pinchot. Retrieved November 19, 2013. 
  15. ^ ""The Bronson Pinchot Project" shows actor’s renovation talents to DIY Network audience". 

External links[edit]