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November 11, 1953 |
Jamestown, North Dakota
Harley Venton (born November 11, 1953) is an American actor, from Jamestown, North Dakota. He began performing in high school and during his senior year, in addition to placing first in the state in the North Dakota State Speech Competition for Humorous Interpretation, he also was awarded the "Joseph Jefferson Award" (given to the outstanding senior actor at Jamestown High School), and won the school's annual talent show with a comedy routine which featured his impressions of various celebrities and political figures.
In 1983, Venton relocated to California, and shortly thereafter, began making frequent appearances on episodic television programs, either playing very romantic characters with his brown hair and brown eyes (classical tall dark and handsome looks) or as a criminal or "the heavy". He has appeared on Kate & Allie, Murphy Brown, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Murder, She Wrote, Models, Inc., Ellen, The Practice, The Jerry Seinfield Show and Law & Order, among other shows.
In 1983, ABC expressed interest in Venton for the role of David Addison in the show, Moonlighting. Venton screen-tested for the role of Addison in September 1984. Cybill Shepherd wanted Venton to play Addison, but producer Glenn Gordon Caron ultimately gave the role role to Bruce Willis. Venton was the only other actor to be screen-tested, and that screen test can still be viewed on the DVD copy of the pilot for Moonlighting.
Venton also was signed to star in a pilot for a new series on the then-new Fox Network; titled "Blood Ties", it explored the interesting concept of a Transylvanian immigrant community of "good" vampires, living in the western United States. Although fairly-well made with high production values, the pilot was not picked up, and the original hour-long pilot, after being buttressed with thirty minutes of previously-edited footage, was instead shown as a "made for TV" movie on May 27, 1991. It was released on DVD in 2002, but is no longer available.