Buck Henry

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Buck Henry
Born Henry Zuckerman
(1930-12-09) December 9, 1930 (age 83)
New York City, U.S.
Occupation Screenwriter, actor, director
Years active 1964-present
Spouse(s) Irene Henry

Henry Zuckerman, credited as Buck Henry (born December 9, 1930), is an American actor, writer, film director, and television director. He has been nominated for an Academy Award twice. Once in 1968 for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Graduate and once in 1979 for Best Director for Heaven Can Wait.

Early life[edit]

Henry was born in New York City, the son of silent film actress Ruth Taylor and Paul Stuart Zuckerman (April 15, 1899 – 1965), a former Air Force general and stockbroker.[1][2][3]

Buck Henry attended The Choate School (now Choate Rosemary Hall) and Dartmouth College, where he met Bob Rafelson, and also worked on the Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern humor magazine. From 1959 to 1962, as part of an elaborate hoax by comedian Alan Abel, he pretended to be G. Clifford Prout, the quietly outraged president of the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, who presented his point of view on talk shows.[citation needed]

Television career[edit]

Henry's dry humor attracted attention in the entertainment community. He became a cast member on TV programs such as The New Steve Allen Show (1961) and That Was The Week That Was (1964–65). He was a co-creator and writer for Get Smart (1965–70), with Mel Brooks. Two of his TV projects had short runs but are fondly remembered by fans: Captain Nice (1967) with William Daniels as a reluctant superhero, and Quark (1978), with Richard Benjamin in command of a garbage scow in outer space.

He appeared on the television show Will and Grace (2005). He made two guest appearances on The Daily Show as a contributor in 2007. He has also appeared as Liz Lemon's father, Dick Lemon, in the 30 Rock episodes "Ludachristmas" (December 13, 2007) and "Gentleman's Intermission" (November 4, 2010). In 2011, he appeared in a multi-episode arc of Hot in Cleveland as Elka's groom. He also played Dr. Victor Rudman, a fractile scientist who dated Murphy, on the "My Dinner With Einstein" episode (1989) of "Murphy Brown."

Saturday Night Live[edit]

Henry hosted NBC's Saturday Night Live ten times, appearing first in 1976, and for the last time in 1980. It became a tradition in those four years that he hosted the last show of each season. Henry also hosted the only live remote attempted by SNL, broadcast live from Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Henry's frequent host record would be broken when Steve Martin hosted the 14th season finale in 1989.[4] During the October 30, 1976 episode, Buck Henry was injured in the forehead by John Belushi's katana in the samurai sketch. Henry's head began to bleed and he was forced to wear a large bandage on his forehead for the rest of the show. As a gag, the members of the SNL cast each wore a bandage on their foreheads as well.

Recurring characters on SNL[edit]

  • Howard, a sadistic stunt coordinator
  • Marshall DiLaMuca, father of Bill Murray's character Todd in the Nerds sketches
  • Mr. Dantley, the straight man and frequent customer to Samurai Futaba's (John Belushi) many businesses.
  • Uncle Roy, a single, pedophilic babysitter who disguises his attempts at molesting the children he's watching (played by Gilda Radner and Laraine Newman) as games.

Celebrity impersonations on SNL[edit]

Film and stage career[edit]

Henry has appeared in more than 40 films including Catch-22, Taking Off, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Gloria, Eating Raoul, Aria, The Graduate, Tune in Tomorrow, Defending Your Life, The Player,[5] and Grumpy Old Men. He co-directed Heaven Can Wait, the 1978 remake of Here Comes Mr. Jordan, and appeared in the film as an officious angel, reprising the character originally played by Edward Everett Horton.

His many writing credits include Candy, The Owl and the Pussycat, What's Up, Doc?, Catch-22, The Day of the Dolphin, Protocol, and To Die For. He shared an Oscar nomination for his screenplay, The Graduate, a film in which he made a cameo appearance. In 1997, Henry was the recipient of the Austin Film Festival's Distinguished Screenwriter Award.

His Broadway credits include the 2002 revival of Morning's at Seven. Off-Broadway in July 2009, he starred opposite Holland Taylor in Mother, a play by Lisa Ebersole.[6]

Writing credits[edit]

Film[edit]

Television[edit]

As Director[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Buck Henry Biography". Filmreference.com. Retrieved September 21, 2010. 
  2. ^ "That Old Feeling: Sweet Smells". TIME. March 21, 2002. Retrieved September 21, 2010. 
  3. ^ [Displaying Abstract] (September 5, 2010). "PAUL S. ZUCKERMAN, BROKER HERE, WAS 66 - Obituary - NYTimes.com". Select.nytimes.com. Retrieved September 21, 2010. 
  4. ^ As of 2011, Alec Baldwin is now the most frequent male host in SNL history with 16 episodes.
  5. ^ Henry's cameo in The Player had him (playing himself) pitching a 20-years-later sequel to The Graduate, which Henry later claimed led to real-life interest in such a project from some studios.
  6. ^ "Buck Henry and Holland Taylor Cast in Lisa Ebersole's play, Mother". Playbill.com. May 11, 2009. Retrieved September 21, 2010. 

External links[edit]