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December 28, 1952 |
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Harley Venton (born December 28, 1952) is an American actor, originally from Thunder Bay, Ontario. He emigrated with his family in 1965 to Hibbing, Minnesota, and a year later, they moved to Jamestown, North Dakota, where he attended junior and senior high school.
After graduating from the University of North Dakota, Venton moved to New York City, where he first became known for playing the role of attorney Derek Colby on the long running CBS soap opera, Guiding Light from 1980 to 1982. While still appearing on Guiding Light he was also a standby in the original Broadway production of Crimes of the Heart.
In 1983, Venton relocated to California permanently, and shortly thereafter, began making frequent appearances on episodic television programs. He has appeared on Kate & Allie, Murphy Brown, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Murder, She Wrote, Models, Inc., Ellen, The Practice, Seinfeld and Law & Order, among other series.
In 1983, ABC expressed interest in Venton for the role of David Addison on the comedy-drama series Moonlighting. Venton screen-tested for the role of Addison in September 1984. Cybill Shepherd wanted Venton to play Addison, but producer Glenn Gordon Caron ultimately gave the role to Bruce Willis. Venton's audition can be seen as a bonus included in the Moonlighting DVD box collection.
In 1990, Venton was cast in a starring role in Blood Ties, a 2-hour pilot movie for the then-fledgling Fox Network; although the program was not picked up by the network, it did air the pilot as a made-for-TV movie presentation.
In 2014, Venton married his current wife, Ann; he resides in Gaithersburg, Maryland.