Adrian Zmed

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Adrian Zmed
AdrianZmedOct08 cropped.jpg
Zmed in October 2008
Born Adrian George Zmed
(1954-03-14) March 14, 1954 (age 62)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Occupation Actor, singer and television personality
Years active 1978–present
Spouse(s) Barbara Fitzner (1976-; 2 sons)
Susan Wood (?-?)
Lyssa Lynne (2012-present)
Children Zachary Adrian (b. 1982)[1]
Dylan Zmed[2]

Adrian George Zmed (born March 14, 1954)[3] is an American actor, singer and television personality, noted for the roles of "Johnny Nogerelli" in Grease 2 and "Officer Vince Romano", the hot-tempered, somewhat, young brash partner of Sgt. T.J. Hooker (played by William Shatner) in the T.J. Hooker television series.

Early life[edit]

Zmed was born in Chicago, the youngest of three sons of George Zmed,[4] later known as George Zmed-Smith (1916–2010), a Romanian Orthodox archpriest, who served from 1952 until his retirement in 1983, and his wife, Preoteasa Persida (née Golub) Zmed,[5] later known as Sadie Smith (1923-2015).[6] George Zmed was a first-generation American born in Chicago, to Romanian parents, Nicolae and Paraschiva (née Bălan), who had immigrated from Comloşu Mare, Timişoara in the early 20th century. At the age of five, George and his family returned to Romania, where he was educated, and lived there until returning to the United States in November 1952. George married Romanian-born Persida Golub on October 15, 1942 in Timisoara. The couple had three sons, in the following order: Cornel, Walter, and Adrian.[7]

Adrian Zmed graduated from Lane Tech High School in Chicago. He began playing football as halfback for the Lane Tech High School team until he broke a bone in his leg, which in turn punctured a major artery, while playing.[8] 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 and began studying voice at the Chicago Conservatory of Music.[8]

He graduated with a BFA from the famed Goodman School of Drama. His first major acting gig was the role of the male lead, Danny Zuko, in the national touring company production of Grease. He later appeared in the Broadway stage musical three times, twice in the role of Zuko. At 40, Zmed revived the role of Zuko in the 1995 Broadway revival.[citation needed]

Early TV career[edit]

In 1978, Zmed made his television debut, appearing as "Marty Decker" in two episodes of ABC's Starsky and Hutch. From there, he won the role of "Socks Palermo" in the short-lived CBS television series Flatbush (1979), based upon the Sylvester Stallone & Henry Winkler film, The Lords of Flatbush.[9] Following the show's cancellation, he was cast as "Frankie Millardo" in Goodtime Girls,[10] which lasted one season (1980). He had guest roles on such series as Angie,[11] I'm a Big Girl Now[12] and Bosom Buddies,[13] and made a guest appearance in 1982's An Evening at the Improv.

T.J. Hooker[edit]

Zmed reached celebrity status as "Officer Romano" in ABC's T.J. Hooker. 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.


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, and cast Zmed as "Johnny Nogerelli", the new leader of the "T-Birds", in Grease 2.[14] Zmed's performance in his first motion picture led to other movie roles, including The Final Terror (1983) and Bachelor Party (1984).[15]

Return to theatre[edit]

Zmed returned to stage work in the 1990s. He headlined the musical Children of Eden at the Paper Mill Playhouse, and starred in three shows on Broadway: Falsettos, Blood Brothers, and Grease. He most recently appeared as Noah in the musical The Ark[16] in New York City, and in the film The Craving Heart (2006).[citation needed]

Current work[edit]

Zmed provided the voiceover for "Toth" in the 2002 video game, Star Wars Jedi Starfighter. He was also under contract until April 2009 with Princess Cruise Lines to perform Adrian Zmed, In Concert... aboard the Coral Princess and the Island Princess, debuting June 25, 2008. He has appeared as himself on VH1's I Love the 80s, Saturday Night Live and also filled in on The Bozo Show. He appeared as Basil (the "floating head") on the NBC soap opera Passions and participated in VH1's Confessions of a Teen Idol.[17] In 2006, he filmed a 30-second PSA for the humane non-profit Dogs Deserve Better organization.

Personal life[edit]

Zmed has two sons, Zachary and Dylan, with his first wife and high school sweetheart, Barbara Fitzner, whom he married in 1976.[18][19] Zmed married New Zealand actress/singer Susan Wood; that marriage also ended in divorce. He has been married to Lyssa Lynne since October 5, 2012. Zmed speaks Romanian.[20]

Zmed still remain friends with his childhood television hero, William Shatner. He said in a 2016 interview with Las Vegas Magazine, about his former TV cop, being a mentor to him: "Yeah, absolutely. I learned so much just watching him. Most of my work was onstage and, like I mentioned before, because I teach the class now, it'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. Three feet in front of you as opposed to 100 feet toward the back of the theater. 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. We had a wonderful relationship and we're still very good friends." The last thing Zmed added to that: "Oh yeah. He was very helpful in saying, "Be smart with the money that you're making during TJ Hooker and be smart with the decisions you're making in terms of your career." He was just here a couple of years ago with his one-man show at Smith Center. I was sitting there in the third row watching him, and in the five years we were sitting in the squad car, he was creating his one-man show. I could have told you the punchline for every one of those stories that he told. It's about Bill's life. His one-man show is about Bill's life, and I know every one of those stories. I did heed his advice on making good choices.[21]


Year TV/Film Credit Role Notes
1978 Starsky & Hutch Marty Decker Episode: "Discomania"
1979 Flatbush Socks Palermo 6 episodes
1979-1980 Angie Maxie 3 episodes
1980 Goodtime Girls Frankie Millardo 13 episodes
For the Love of It Fernando TV film
1981 Revenge of the Gray Gang Jimmy Steinbrenner TV film
I'm a Big Girl Now Mechanic Episode: "There's No Business Like Joe Business"
Bosom Buddies Joseph 'Joey Midnight' Raybonz Episode: "Best Friends"
1982-1985 T.J. Hooker Officer Vince Romano 72 episodes
1982 Grease 2 Johnny Nogerelli Feature film
1983 The Final Terror Marco Cerone Feature film
1984 Bachelor Party Jay O'Neill Feature film
Glitter Tom TV pilot
Victims for Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story Fred Feliciano TV film
1985-1987 Dance Fever Himself (Host) 60 episodes
1986 The Love Boat Eddy Conrad Episode: "Love's Labors Found"
1986-1987 Hotel Bob / Scott Osborne 2 episodes
1987 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Edgar Kraft Episode: "When This Man Dies"
You Are the Jury Stanley Manning Episode: "The State of Oregon vs. Stanley Manning"
1988 Empty Nest Gary Episode: "Your Check Isn't in the Mail"
1989 Murder, She Wrote Bert Firman Episode: "From Russia... with Blood"
Eyewitness to Murder Tyler Feature film
1993 The Other Woman Greg Mathews Direct-to-video film
1994 Silk Stalkings Calvin Episode: "Judas Kiss"
Improper Conduct Doug Feature film
1998 The Steve Harvey Show Derrick Love Episode: "White Men Can Funk"
Storm Chasers: Revenge of the Twister Smitty TV film
Caroline in the City Jonathan Episode: "Caroline and the Rotten Plum"
1999 Unconditional Love Mario Feature film
Diagnosis: Murder Himself Episode: "Trash TV: Part 2"
2000 Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show Hook Episode: "Hook, Whodunit?"
Running from the Shadows Sasch Feature film
Little Insects Sir Sneekleberry (voice) Animated film
2002 Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter Toth (voice) Video game
Until Morning Kyle Feature film
2004 The Drone Virus Frank Schmidt Feature film
2005 Shira: The Vampire Samurai Kristof Direct-to-video film
Sex Sells: The Making of Touché Lance Long Feature film
2006 The Craving Heart Phil Jorgenson Feature film
2007 Passions Basil 2 episodes
Larry the Cable Guy's Christmas Spectacular Dirty Caroler Dad TV film
2013 Outside the Box Jack Torrence Episode: "The Shining"
2016 D' Coffee Shop Closes at 9PM Dr. K Episode: "Johnny be Good"; also Director
Lady Dynamite Himself 2 episodes
Sharknado: The 4th Awakens Himself TV film
TBA Spring Break '83 Billy's father Unreleased film


  1. ^,,20085303,00.html
  2. ^
  3. ^ Zmed, Adrian. "Today is not my birthday people...but thanks for the thoughts. My birthday is March 14.". Retrieved March 16, 2013. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Obituary: George Zmed". Retrieved 2010-01-13. 
  7. ^ "In Memoriam: Archpriest George Zmed". Retrieved 2010-01-14. 
  8. ^ a b Suzanne Murphy (January 20, 1984). "Adrian Zmed: Interview "Capturing Criminals and Fans"". Teen Magazine. Archived from the original on February 15, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-12. 
  9. ^ "Flatbush". Internet Movie Database. 
  10. ^ "The Goodtime Girls". Internet Movie Database. 
  11. ^ "Angie". Internet Movie Database. 
  12. ^ "I'm a Big Girl Now". Internet Movie Database. 
  13. ^ "Bosom Buddies". Internet Movie Database. 
  14. ^ "Adrian Zmed Biography". 
  15. ^ Adrian Zmed at the Internet Movie Database
  16. ^ Brad Bradley. "A CurtainUp Review: The Ark". CurtainUp. Retrieved April 12, 2015. 
  17. ^ Confessions of a Teen Idol,; accessed April 5, 2015.
  18. ^ "". Retrieved April 5, 2015. 
  19. ^ "". Retrieved April 13, 2015. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Q&A: Adrian Zmed". 2016-01-22. Retrieved 2016-08-20. 

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