Stephen Stucker

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Stephen Stucker
Born (1947-07-02)July 2, 1947
Des Moines, Iowa, U.S.
Died April 13, 1986(1986-04-13) (aged 38)
Hollywood, California, U.S.
Cause of death
AIDS-related complications
Resting place
Chapel of the Pines Crematory
Nationality American
Occupation Actor
Years active 1975–1986

Stephen Stucker (July 2, 1947 – April 13, 1986) was an American actor, known for portrayals of larger-than-life flamboyant characters, notably the manic control-room worker Johnny Henshaw-Jacobs in the early 1980s Airplane! movies and the cross-dressing, rubber-penis-waving stenographer in the courtroom sequence of 1977's The Kentucky Fried Movie.

Early life and career[edit]

Stucker was born in Des Moines, Iowa. His family moved to Shaker Heights, Ohio, where he distinguished himself in school as a pianist and class clown. He graduated from high school in 1965.

Stucker made his screen debut co-starring in the 1975 comedic sexploitation film Carnal Madness as Bruce Wilson, a gay fashion designer who escapes an insane asylum with two fellow inmates, fleeing to an all-girls school. He went on to perform in the 1977 earthquake-in-Los-Angeles comedy Cracking Up, alongside Fred Willard, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer.

Stucker was a scene-stealing member of the cast of the Madison, Wisconsin Kentucky Fried Theater sketch comedy troupe founded by David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker.[1] In 1977 he appeared in the John Landis film The Kentucky Fried Movie, based on the troupe's sketches. This led to his memorable supporting role in the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker comedy Airplane!, which he reprised in Airplane II: The Sequel. For the initial film, the writers gave Stucker the straight lines for his scenes and let him write his character's off-the-wall responses.[1]

In 1982 he had a guest role in a three-episode sequence in the TV series Mork and Mindy and, in 1983, he had a small featured role in Landis' Trading Places. In 1984, Stucker had a co-starring role as the sex-obsessed psychiatrist, Dr. Bender in the teen comedy film Bad Manners (aka: Growing Pains).

Illness and death[edit]

On July 12, 1984, Stucker was diagnosed with AIDS. He later publicly announced his illness, making him one of the first actors to announce he was suffering from the disease.[2]

He died from AIDS-related complications on April 13, 1986 at the age of 38. He was buried in Chapel of the Pines Crematory.

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1975 Delinquent School Girls Bruce Wilson Alternative title: Carnal Madness
1977 Cracking Up Bruce "Tushy" Smith
1977 The Kentucky Fried Movie Stenographer Segment: "Courtroom"
1980 Airplane! Johnny
1982 Mork & Mindy Billy Vincent 3 episodes
1982 Jimmy the Kid 2nd Neighbor
1982 Airplane II: The Sequel Controller Jacobs/Courtroom Clerk
1983 Trading Places Stationmaster
1984 Bad Manners Dr. Bender Alternative title: Growing Pains
1985 Hot Resort Bobby Williams
1988 The Wizard of Speed and Time Piano Choreographer Released posthumously

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Airplane! DVD commentary
  2. ^ Simross, Lynn (November 14, 1985). "AIDS Victim Runs to Beat the Odds : More Are Showing a Positive Approach to the Disease". latimes.com. p. 4. Retrieved March 7, 2013. 

External links[edit]