Avery Schreiber

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Avery Schreiber
Avery Schreiber and Jack Burns 1966.jpg
Schreiber (left) with Jack Burns in 1966
Avery Lawrence Schreiber

(1935-04-09)April 9, 1935
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
DiedJanuary 7, 2002(2002-01-07) (aged 66)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
OccupationActor, comedian
Years active1964–2001
Rochelle Isaacs
(m. 1962)
Jack Albertson, Avery Schreiber, and Freddie Prinze on Chico and the Man (1975)

Avery Lawrence Schreiber (April 9, 1935 – January 7, 2002) was an American actor and comedian. He was a veteran of stage, television, and movies[1][2] who came to prominence in the 1960s in a comedy duo with Jack Burns. He acted in an array of roles mostly on television sitcoms and a series of popular advertisements for Doritos tortilla chips.[3]

Life and career[edit]

Schreiber was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Minnie (née Shear) and George Schreiber.[2] He started his career in Chicago at the Goodman Theatre. He joined The Second City and later teamed with Jack Burns to form the comedy team of Burns and Schreiber.[3] They recorded several comedy albums and appeared on numerous television shows.

Schreiber is remembered for his many Doritos commercials during the 1970s and 1980s,[4] as well as his appearances on several television series. He was known for his trademark bushy handlebar moustache, curly hair, and comedic reactions.

In 1965, Schreiber played the role of Captain Manzini on My Mother the Car. In the summer of 1973, he co-hosted the ABC comedy The Burns and Schreiber Comedy Hour.[5] He was a regular guest star on the situation comedy Chico and the Man, and was also a frequent guest panelist on the game show Match Game, and a guest in a first-season episode of The Muppet Show (written by former partner Jack Burns, whom he mentioned during a stand-up routine in the episode). In addition, he participated in the 1980 Tournament of Celebrities on the Jim Perry-hosted version of Card Sharks.

His movie appearances include The Monitors (the first film production of Chicago's Second City comedy troupe, 1969), Don't Drink the Water (1969), Deadhead Miles (1972), Swashbuckler (1976), The Last Remake of Beau Geste (1977), The Concorde ... Airport '79, Silent Scream (1979), Scavenger Hunt (1979), Caveman (1981), Jimmy the Kid (1983) and Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993).

Avery continued to work in film, television and theater, as well as teaching improvisational theater technique up until the time of his death. He taught master classes at The Second City in Chicago and Los Angeles.

He and his wife Rochelle had two children.[3]


In 1994, Schreiber suffered a heart attack resulting from complications of diabetes. Although he survived triple coronary artery bypass surgery, he never fully recovered. He died of another heart attack on January 7, 2002, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.[1]


In 2003, the Avery Schreiber Theatre was founded in North Hollywood, California. In 2013, the Avery Schreiber Theatre changed its name to The Avery Schreiber Playhouse with the approval of Rochelle Isaacs Schreiber (née Shelley), Avery's widow. It is located at 4934 Lankershim Boulevard in the NoHo Arts District.[6]



Year Title Role Notes
1969 The Monitors Max Jordan
1969 Don't Drink the Water The Sultan
1972 Deadhead Miles Boss Fulano
1974 The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine Mr. Evil
1976 Swashbuckler Pulaski
1976 The Southern Double Cross
1977 The Last Remake of Beau Geste Arab Chieftain / Used Camel Salesman
1977 Lindsay Wagner: Another Side of Me
1978 Loose Shoes Theatre Manager
1978 Christmas at Walt Disney World Geppetto
1979 The Concorde ... Airport '79 Russian coach Markov
1979 Silent Scream Sgt. Manny Ruggin
1979 Scavenger Hunt Zookeeper
1980 Steve Martin: All Commercials
1980 Galaxina Captain Cornelius Butt
1981 Caveman Ock
1983 Jimmy the Kid Dr. Stevens
1984 Cannonball Run II Uncredited
1987 Hunk Constatine Constapopolis
1988 Saturday the 14th Strikes Back Frank Baxter
1993 Robin Hood: Men in Tights Tax Assessor
1995 Dracula: Dead and Loving It Peasant on Coach
1997 The Lay of the Land Dean Bill Whittier
1998 The Russian Room Old Russian Man Short
2000 Rebel Yell Granddaddy of Punk
2000 Pedestrian
2001 Dying on the Edge Saul


Year Title Role Notes
1964 East Side/West Side Truck Driver
1964 Vacation Playhouse
1965-1966 My Mother the Car Captain Bernard Manzini 11 episodes
1967 Our Place
1968 Premiere Spivak
1968 Get Smart Oleg
1969 The Mothers-in-Law Mr.Crawford
1969 Love, American Style Season 1, Episode 7: Love and the Advice-Givers
1969 The Ghost and Mrs. Muir Fire Commissioner Lilly Season 2, Episode 10: The Firehouse Five Plus Ghost
1969-1970 That Girl Al Taylor Season 4, Episodes 1 and 2: Mission Improbable, Part 1 and Part 2
1970 The Doris Day Show Warren Coleman
1971 Story Theatre
1971 Escape Nicholas Slye TV movie
1972 McCloud Milton
1972 Second Chance Roberto Gazzari TV movie
1973 The Burns and Schreiber Comedy Hour Host Unknown episodes
1974 The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine Mr. Evil Saturday Morning Variety Series
1975 Ben Vereen... Comin' at Ya Regular Performer Unknown episodes
1975 Chico and the Man Gypsy / Fortune Teller 2 episodes
1975 Sammy and Company Himself 3 episodes
1976 The Muppet Show Himself
1976 The Rockford Files Azie Boyajian Episode: Rattlers' Class of '63
1976 Monster Squad The Weatherman Episode: The Weatherman
1977 Sha Na Na Himself
1977 Don't Push, I'll Charge When I'm Ready Announcer TV movie
1978 The Love Boat Marooned
1979 The Dukes of Hazzard Wendel Episode 1:13 - Double Sting
1979 Flatbed Annie & Sweetiepie: Lady Truckers Munroe TV movie
1980 Avery Schreiber Live From the Second City Himself TV movie
1980 More Wild Wild West Russian Ambassador TV movie
1982 Fantasy Island Ed Turner
1984 The Fall Guy Truck Driver (Episode 4:1 - Losers Weepers)
1984 Faerie Tale Theatre Pinocchio Boatman
1985 The Pound Puppies Tubbs Voice, TV movie
1985 Shadow Chasers Jordan Kerner
1985-1987 The Smurfs Additional Voices 2 episodes
1986 Outlaws Halifax
1987 Top Cat and the Beverly Hills Cats Benny the Ball Voice, TV movie
1988 A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Additional Voices 13 episodes
1989 Saved by the Bell Dr. Mertz
1990 Wake, Rattle & Roll Dr. Lester T. Quirk Voice, TV Series, Unknown episodes
1992 Days of Our Lives Leopold Alamain
1993-1995 Animaniacs Beanie the Brain-Dead Bison Voice, 3 episodes
1999 Becker Man Outside Reggie's Diner


  1. ^ a b "Avery Schreiber, 66, Doritos Funnyman". The New York Times. Associated Press. January 9, 2002.
  2. ^ a b "Avery Schreiber Biography (1935-2002)". Film Reference. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  3. ^ a b c McLellan, Dennis (January 9, 2002). "Avery Schreiber, 66; Jack Burns' Comedy Partner". Los Angeles Times.
  4. ^ Hollandsworth, Skip (January 1996). "Lay's of Our Lives". Texas Monthly. ISSN 0148-7736.
  5. ^ "The Burns and Schreiber Comedy Hour". TV.com. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  6. ^ Knolle, Sharon (15 June 2013). "NoHo's Avery Schreiber Theater Shutting Down After 10 Years". LAist. Archived from the original on 21 June 2013.

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