Rick Lenz

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Rick Lenz
Born (1939-11-21) November 21, 1939 (age 75)
Springfield, Illinois

Rick Lenz (born November 21, 1939) is an American actor best known for repeating his Broadway role as Igor Sullivan in the 1969 film Cactus Flower.


Hal Erickson of AllMovie Guide says, “tall expressive leading man Rick Lenz has steadfastly avoided pigeonholing as a 'type,' playing gunslingers, victims, villains, patient husbands, insensitive fools, intellectuals, and even a wimpy murder-mystery fanatic in the Hallmark remake of Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt.”

Early career[edit]

Educated at the University of Michigan and New York University, Rick Lenz directed the Jackson, Michigan Civic Theater for two years before going to New York to seek work as an actor. In 1965, at the age of 25, he made his Broadway debut in Mating Dance, starring Van Johnson. That show closed on opening night, but it was also Lenz’s big break; stage producer David Merrick was in the audience and soon afterward cast him in the Broadway hit, Cactus Flower as understudy to the juvenile lead, Igor Sullivan. Lenz later took over the role and played it for a year. Film producer Mike Frankovich and Walter Matthau saw him in the part and cast him as Igor in the movie version of Cactus Flower (1969), in which he co-starred opposite Goldie Hawn as well as Matthau and Ingrid Bergman.

In the 1970s, Rick Lenz appeared in several Hollywood movies, including the Disney film, Scandalous John; Where Does It Hurt?, opposite Peter Sellers; Little Dragons, directed by Curtis Hanson; John Wayne’s last movie, The Shootist; Jonathan Demme’s Melvin and Howard and How Do I Love Thee?, based on the novel by Peter DeVries and starring Jackie Gleason and Maureen O'Hara.


Lenz appeared in many popular television series and films.

Recent Years[edit]

Lenz has pursued his passion for writing and painting. His first play, The Epic of Buster Friend, was produced in 1973 at the Theatre De Lys (now the Lucille Lortel Theatre) in New York City and was later directed for PBS by Michael Kahn. In 1981 Lenz co-wrote the pilot of the ABC television series Aloha Paradise, as well writing several of the episodes.

Rick Lenz now resides in Los Angeles with his spouse, Linda. He has three children, Scott, Charles and Abigail.

Rick just published his memoir North of Hollywood on February 15, 2012. Rick says, "For a long time I've wanted to write about the interweaving of show business and the real life that creates the tangled existence of most actors." He says the book has been in progress for years.[1]

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