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December 28, 1952 |
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Harley Venton (born December 28, 1952) is a Canadian actor from Thunder Bay, Ontario. He emigrated with his family in 1965 to Hibbing, on the iron range of northern Minnesota.
Venton attended college at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks. One professor, Patrick Rucker, had a profound effect on the direction of Ventons' professional life. Professor Rucker encouraged and supervised Mr. Ventons' application the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theatre prestigious Bush Fellowship Program which provided a full scholarship through an accelerated Master's of Fine Arts followed by a full season at the Guthrie as an Actors Equity Journeyman, securing his official professional status as an actor.
In 1983, Venton relocated to California, and shortly thereafter, began making frequent appearances on episodic television programs. He has appeared on Kate & Allie, Murphy Brown, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Murder, She Wrote, Models, Inc., Ellen, The Practice, Seinfeld and Law & Order, among other series.
In 1983, ABC expressed interest in Venton for the role of David Addison on the comedy-drama series 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 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 concept of a Transylvanian immigrant community of "good" vampires, living in the western United States. 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.
In 2014, Venton married his current wife, Ann.