Adrian Zmed

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Adrian Zmed
Zmed in October 2008
Adrian George Zmed

(1954-03-14) March 14, 1954 (age 69)
Occupation(s)Actor, singer and television personality
Years active1978–present
Spouse(s)Barbara Fitzner (1976–?; 2 sons)
Susan Wood (?–?)
Lyssa Lynne Baker (2012–present)
ChildrenZachary Adrian (b. 1982)[1]
Dylan Zmed

Adrian George Zmed (born March 14, 1954)[2] is an American actor, singer and television personality, noted for the roles of Johnny Nogerelli in Grease 2 and Officer Vince Romano in the T.J. Hooker television series.

Early life[edit]

Zmed was born in Chicago, Illinois, the youngest of three sons of George Zmed,[3] later known as George Zmed-Smith (1916–2010), a Romanian Orthodox priest, who served from 1952 until his retirement in 1983,[1] and his wife, Persida (née Golub) Zmed,[4] later known as Sadie Smith (1923–2015).[5] His father George was a first-generation Romanian-American born in Chicago to Nicolae and Paraschiva (née Bălan), who had emigrated from Comloșu Mare, Timiș County in the early 20th century. At the age of five, George and his family returned to Romania, where he was educated, and returned to the United States in November 1952. George and Persida (also Romanian-born) were married October 15, 1942, in Timișoara. The couple had three sons, in the following order: Cornel, Walter, and Adrian.[6]

Adrian graduated from Lane Tech High School in Chicago. He began playing football for the school's team until, when playing in 1968,[1] he broke a leg bone which in turn punctured a major artery.[7] He quit sports and began acting, appearing in his high school's production of Guys and Dolls. After being featured on a local TV show as one of Chicago's top high school performers, Zmed transferred to the Goodman School of Drama[1] and began studying voice at the Chicago Conservatory of Music.[7] He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Goodman School of Drama.

Acting career[edit]

Zmed's first major acting gig was the role of Danny Zuko in the national touring company production of Grease.[1] He later appeared in the Broadway musical three times, twice in the role of Zuko. At 40, Zmed revived the role of Zuko in the 1995 Broadway revival.[citation needed]


In 1978, Zmed made his television debut, appearing as Marty Decker in two episodes of Starsky & Hutch. From there, he won the role of Socks Palermo in the short-lived television series Flatbush (1979), based upon the film The Lords of Flatbush.[8] Following the show's cancellation, he was cast as Frankie Millardo in Goodtime Girls,[9] which lasted one season (1980). He had guest roles on such series as Angie,[1][10] I'm a Big Girl Now[11] and Bosom Buddies,[1][12] and made a guest appearance on An Evening at the Improv in 1982.

Zmed reached celebrity status as Officer Romano in ABC's T.J. Hooker.[1] He played Fred Feliciano in Victims for Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story (1984) and made guest appearances on a number of television shows throughout the 1980s and 1990s, including Hotel, Empty Nest, Murder, She Wrote and Caroline in the City. He left T.J. Hooker in 1985 when the show moved to CBS, choosing instead to replace Deney Terrio as host of Dance Fever for its final two seasons.

He has appeared as himself on VH1's I Love the 80s, Saturday Night Live and The Bozo Show. He appeared as Basil (the "floating head") on the soap opera Passions and participated in VH1's Confessions of a Teen Idol.[13]


Following the huge success of John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in the movie version of Grease, Paramount Pictures quickly secured the rights to a sequel. Zmed was chosen to play one of the lead roles in Grease 2, Johnny Nogerelli, the new leader of the T-Birds gang.[14] His performance led to other movie roles, including The Final Terror (1983) and Bachelor Party (1984).[15] He appears in the film The Craving Heart (2006).[15]

Return to theatre[edit]

Zmed returned to stage work in the 1990s. In 1992, he appeared Off-Broadway in the musical version of Eating Raoul. He headlined the musical Children of Eden at the Paper Mill Playhouse. He starred in three shows on Broadway: Falsettos, Blood Brothers, and Grease. He later appeared as Noah in the musical The Ark[16] in New York City. He played Nick in the short-lived play Surf the Musical at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas in 2012.[17]

Other work[edit]

Zmed provided the voiceover for Toth in the 2002 video game Star Wars Jedi Starfighter. He was also under contract from June 2008 to April 2009 with Princess Cruise Lines to perform Adrian Zmed, in Concert... aboard the Coral Princess and the Island Princess.

In 2006, he filmed a 30-second public service announcement for the non-profit organization Dogs Deserve Better.

Personal life[edit]

Zmed has been married three times. He married his high school sweetheart, Barbara Fitzner,[17] in 1976. Their two sons, Zachary and Dylan, are rock musicians who have been members of the rock band The Janks[18] and the Bird Dogs, an Everly Brothers tribute band.[19]

Zmed married Broadway actress/singer Susan Wood in 1995;[20] that marriage also ended in divorce.

He married Lyssa Lynne Baker on October 5, 2012.[21] They held another (smaller) wedding in Thailand on November 23, 2012.[22]

Zmed remains friends with his co-star and childhood television hero William Shatner. He spoke in a 2016 interview with Las Vegas Magazine about Shatner:

I learned so much just watching's a very different energy on camera than onstage. Instead of reaching the last person 50 rows away from you, you're reaching someone three feet in front of you, which is really daunting...His camera technique was just incredible. He was so relaxed and all. I learned so much in term of the moment, on how you readjust your energy, how you get efficient with camera technique. And just the stories. When he directed, he would mentor me. I do consider Bill a mentor, no question about it...Oh yeah. He was very helpful in saying, "Be smart with the money that you're making during T.J. Hooker and be smart with the decisions you're making in terms of your career"...I did heed his advice on making good choices.[23]



Year Title Role Notes
1982 Grease 2 Johnny Nogerelli
1983 The Final Terror Marco Cerone alternate title: Campsite Massacre
1984 Bachelor Party Jay O'Neill
1989 Eyewitness to Murder Tyler
1993 The Other Woman Greg Mathews direct-to-video movie
1994 Improper Conduct Doug
1999 Unconditional Love Mario
2000 Running from the Shadows Sasch
2000 Little Insects Sir Sneekleberry (voice)
2002 Until Morning Kyle
2004 The Drone Virus Frank Schmidt
2005 Shira: The Vampire Samurai Kristof direct-to-video movie
2005 Sex Sells: The Making of Touché Lance Long
2006 The Craving Heart Phil Jorgenson
TBA Spring Break '83 Billy's father post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1978 Starsky & Hutch Marty Decker Episode: "Discomania"
1979 Flatbush Socks Palermo 6 episodes
1979–80 Angie Maxie Episodes: "The First Separation", "The Thief", "Marie Moves Out"
1980 Goodtime Girls Frankie Millardo 13 episodes
1980 For the Love of It Fernando TV movie
1981 I'm a Big Girl Now Mechanic Episode: "There's No Business Like Joe Business"
1981 Bosom Buddies Joseph "Joey Midnight" Raybonz Episode: "Best Friends"
1982–85 T. J. Hooker Officer Vincent "Vince" Romano 72 episodes
1984 Glitter Tom Episode: "Pilot"
1984 Victims for Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story Fred Feliciano TV movie
1985–87 Dance Fever Himself (host) 60 episodes
1986 Hotel Bob Episode: "Shadows of Doubt: Part 1"
1986 The Love Boat Eddy Conrad Segment: "Spain Cruise: Love's Labors Found" (Parts 1 & 2)
1987 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Edgar Kraft Episode: "When This Man Dies"
1987 You Are the Jury Stanley Manning Episode: "The State of Oregon vs. Stanley Manning"
1987 Hotel Scott Osborne Episode: "Dark Horses"
1988 Empty Nest Gary Episode: "Your Check Isn't in the Mail"
1989 Murder, She Wrote Bert Firman Episode: "From Russia...with Blood"
1994 Silk Stalkings Calvin Episode: "Judas Kiss"
1998 The Steve Harvey Show Derrick Love Episode: "White Men Can Funk"
1998 Storm Chasers: Revenge of the Twister Smitty TV movie
1998 Caroline in the City Jonathan Episode: "Caroline and the Rotten Plum"
1999 Diagnosis: Murder Himself Episode: "Trash TV: Part 2"
2000 Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show Hook Episode: "Hook, Whodunit?"
2007 Passions Basil 13 episodes
2007 Larry the Cable Guy's Christmas Spectacular Dirty Caroler Dad TV movie
2013 Outside the Box Jack Torrence Episode: "The Shining"
2016 Lady Dynamite Himself Episodes: "A Vaginismus Miracle", "Knife Feelings"
2016 Sharknado: The 4th Awakens Himself TV movie
2018 Mickey Mouse Mixed-Up Adventures Randy Riff-Raff (voice) Episode: "The Roadsterettes/Oh Happy Day"

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2002 Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter Toth (voice)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Adelson, Suzanne (June 20, 1983). "T.j. Hooker's Adrian Zmed Looks to a Serious Future Beyond Beefcake and Bad Boys". People. 19 (24). Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  2. ^ Zmed, Adrian [@RealAdrianZmed] (March 4, 2013). "Today is not my birthday people...but thanks for the thoughts. My birthday is March 14" (Tweet). Retrieved March 16, 2013 – via Twitter.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ "Death Notice: Very Rev. Fr. George Zmed-Smith". January 17, 2010. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  4. ^ "In Memoriam: Preoteasa Persida Zmed". March 2015.
  5. ^ "Obituary: George Zmed". Archived from the original on 2010-03-06. Retrieved 2010-01-13.
  6. ^ "In Memoriam: Archpriest George Zmed". 12 January 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-14.
  7. ^ a b Murphy, Suzanne (January 20, 1984). "Adrian Zmed: Interview 'Capturing Criminals and Fans'". Teen Magazine. Archived from the original on February 15, 2008. Retrieved February 12, 2008.
  8. ^ "Flatbush". Internet Movie Database.
  9. ^ "The Goodtime Girls". Internet Movie Database.
  10. ^ "Angie". Internet Movie Database.
  11. ^ "I'm a Big Girl Now". Internet Movie Database.
  12. ^ "Bosom Buddies". Internet Movie Database.
  13. ^ "Confessions of a Teen Idol". Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  14. ^ "Adrian Zmed Biography". Archived from the original on 2010-08-25. Retrieved 2010-09-05.
  15. ^ a b Adrian Zmed at IMDb
  16. ^ Bradley, Brad. "A CurtainUp Review: The Ark". Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  17. ^ a b "30 Years Later: The cast of 'T.J. Hooker'". November 23, 2012. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  18. ^ "The Janks". Retrieved April 13, 2015.
  19. ^ Valcourt, Keith (July 10, 2016). "The Bird Dogs: 'For the Love of Phil and Don'". Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  20. ^ "Grease! 'Danny' and His 'Sandy' Expect to be Married by Tuesday, when Touring Company Arrives in S.l." Deseret News. 14 July 1995.
  21. ^ "Zmed/Baker Wedding: October 5, 2012". Dustree Productions. Archived from the original on 2021-12-12. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  22. ^ "High Class Cinema: Lyssa & Adrian / Wedding Trailer". Ella Gagiano Photography. Archived from the original on 2014-01-31. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  23. ^ Zmed, Adrian (2016-01-22). "Q&A: Adrian Zmed". (Interview). Interviewed by Matt Kelemen. Retrieved 2016-08-20.

External links[edit]