February 1, 1944|
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
|Died||June 28, 2007
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Occupation||Film, stage, TV actor, singer|
|Spouse(s)||Lora Lee Ecobelli (2005–2007)|
Leo Burmester (February 1, 1944 – June 28, 2007) was an American actor. Burmester worked for director John Sayles several times, including in Passion Fish (1992) and Lone Star (1996), and also for directors such as John Schlesinger and Sidney Lumet, and as the Apostle Nathaniel in Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ (1988). He also starred in the CBS sitcom Flo as Randy Stumphill, the mechanic who frequented the bar.
Life and career
Burmester was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky and studied at Western Kentucky University as a biology major before switching to drama. He worked summer stock at Shawnee Summer Theatre of Greene County, Indiana. After receiving an MFA from the University of Denver, he taught college for a year before becoming a working actor.
Burmester appeared with the Actors Theatre of Louisville, originating roles in the plays Getting Out and Lone Star, and eventually recreating them in his Off-Broadway and Broadway debuts, respectively. He made his feature film debut in a big budget project with Cruising (1980), and had a featured role as the mortuary director in Honky Tonk Freeway (1981). Burmester played one of the FBI agents hounding the faux Rosenberg couple in Daniel (1983). He played the role of Thénardier in the Original Broadway production of Les Misérables and the Police Sergeant in Harry Connick, Jr.'s musical Thou Shalt not.
He played Holly Hunter's character's father in the prologue of Broadcast News (1987), and the bum in front of The Plaza in Big Business (1988). Roles started to get larger with James Cameron's The Abyss (1989), as Catfish DeVries, decompression expert.
Although thought to have died of leukemia, death was caused by a tick bite that was complicated by his compromised immune system. He died at age 63 on June 28, 2007. His ashes were scattered in Kentucky.
- Cruising (1980)
- Honky Tonk Freeway (1981)
- The House of God (1984)
- Odd Jobs (1986)
- Broadcast News (1987)
- The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
- Big Business (1988)
- The Abyss (1989)
- Article 99 (1992)
- Passion Fish (1992)
- Innocent Blood (1992)
- A Perfect World (1993)
- The Neon Bible (1995)
- Lone Star (1996)
- The Devil's Advocate (1997)
- Switchback (1997)
- The Secret of Mulan (1998)
- Saturn (1999)
- The Red Betsy (2003)
- America Brown (2004)
- Patch (2005)
- The Legend of Zorro (2005)
- Partial list
- Walker, Texas Ranger - "An Innocent Man" (1993)
- Alex Haley's Queen (1993)
- Law & Order - "Snatched" (1994)
- Law & Order - "Charm City: Part 1" (1996)
- Shake, Rattle and Roll: An American Love Story (1999)
- Law & Order: Criminal Intent - "The Third Horseman" (2002)
- Law & Order - "Patriot" (2002)
- Carry Me Home - "Grizzle" (2004)