Paul Kent (actor)
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Kent in front of the Melrose Theater, 1975
October 13, 1930
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Died||October 7, 2011 (aged 80)
Hollywood Hills, California, U.S.
Paul Kent (October 13, 1930 – October 7, 2011) was an American actor and the founder/artistic director of the Melrose Theatre in West Hollywood.
Kent was born as Paul Inglese on October 13, 1930 in Brooklyn, New York. He studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse and briefly served in the United States Army during the Korean War. In 1958, he and his parents moved from New York to California, where he trained under Sanford Meisner and later assisted Meisner with his classes. The two became close friends and colleagues during Meisner's life, and when Meisner left Los Angeles to go back to New York, he left his teaching methods to be carried on in the West by Kent who consequently taught acting for many years through his theater.
Kent played a part in the formation of Lucille Ball's Desilu Workshop, where he became the first acting student signed by the workshop. According to Hedda Hopper, when Kent appeared at the workshop to help a female friend at an audition, he was discovered by Ball and promptly signed to an actor-stage manager contract. Kent's acting roles during this period included a small part in an episode of December Bride in 1957.
In 1964, Kent founded the Melrose Theater in West Hollywood with the assistance of fellow actors including Tom Troupe, Carole Cook, Richard Bull and Don Eitner. Funds for the theater were partially raised by a guest appearance with Lucille Ball and Gary Morton on Password.
Kent later recalled in an interview with The Los Angeles Times:
|“||I was scared to death. I wasn't working steadily, I didn't know where the next rent would come from, and I had no experience in building a theater...I bought seats from a defunct movie house on Washington Boulevard. I'll never forget. Two dollars a seat. Linden Chiles and the students and I literally unbolted the seats from the floor and brought them back here.||”|
In 1976, Kent entered into a partnership with workshop organizer Jomarie Ward to purchase a former bakery and photographer's studio at 733 North Seward Street in Hollywood. With the assistance of Ward and members of the workshop, the building was renovated and converted to the new Melrose Theater in 1977. The new, larger theater became the permanent headquarters of the Melrose, with Kent installed as artistic director and Ward as managing director.
In 1984, Kent decided to create a production employing the largest possible number of Melrose actors, and convened several playwrights at the Mark Taper Forum to write a play in a bar setting to be produced by the theater. The resulting collaboration, The Bar Off Melrose, was credited to fifteen playwrights and employed nearly forty actors. The play premiered successfully in 1986, and is still performed today at various theaters, drama workshops and colleges.
While serving as artistic director of the Melrose Theater, Kent also acted in many of its plays, and continued acting in film and television. One of Kent's acting appearances in the 1970s was a small part in the television miniseries Helter Skelter. The part was notable because Kent later played a different character in the 2004 adaptation directed by John Gray. Gray later bought Kent back to play a spirit in an episode of his TV series, Ghost Whisperer ("Mended Hearts"). In addition, Kent often played different characters in multiple episodes of a series, including his appearances in Lou Grant, T. J. Hooker and Falcon Crest.
In 1987 Kent played Harry M. Daugherty in a made-for-TV biographical film of J. Edgar Hoover, produced by Showtime. In 1999, he became the third actor to play the character of "Doctor Noel Clinton" in Port Charles, a spinoff of General Hospital, succeeding actors Dean Harens and Ron Husmann. He had a lead starring role as the character of "Miles Mason" in Viagra Falls, a television pilot. One of his final acting roles was his portrayal of Mack Sennett in Return to Babylon, an independent film released in 2013.
In 1975, Kent reflected on his craft to Los Angeles Times reporter Lawrence Christon:
|“||Acting is my sanity, the thing I run to when things go wrong in my life. My special joy is rehearsing, making discoveries about the ins and outs of character. I love it so much that the actual performance, to me, is like the cigarette after the affair.||”|
|The Astronaut (TV)||Carl Samuels||1972|
|Family Flight (TV)||First Controller||1972|
|The Mad Bomber||Dr. Devincy||1973|
|The Alpha Caper (TV)||John Woodbury||1973|
|Pray for the Wildcats (TV)||Doctor Harris||1974|
|Helter Skelter (TV)||Dennis Ranson||1976|
|Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan||Commander Beach||1982|
|J. Edgar Hoover (TV)||Harry M. Daugherty||1987|
|A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors||Doctor Carver||1987|
|Programmed to Kill||Carlson||1987|
|The Jigsaw Murders||Captain Matt Ludwig||1989|
|The Road Home||Coach Dale||2003|
|Helter Skelter (TV)||Van Nuys Judge||2004|
|Return to Babylon||Mack Sennett||2013||(final film role)|
|My Three Sons||Bub's Butler||Announcer||1963|
|The Outer Limits||The Man With The Power||Detective||1963|
|Mission: Impossible||Elena||Frederico (Uncredited)||1966|
|The Man From U.N.C.L.E.||The Master's Touch Affair||Valandros's Aide||1967|
|Hawaii Five-O||Strangers In Our Own Land||David Milner||1968|
|Bonanza||The Night Virginia City Died||Doctor Martin||1970|
|The Six Million Dollar Man||The Rescue of Athena One||Flight Surgeon Wolf||1974|
|Starsky and Hutch||The Plague||Lieutenant Anderson||1977|
|Three's Company||Jack Moves Out/Professor Jack||Alvin Morrell/Doctor Anderson||1979/1981|
|Diff'rent Strokes||Small Claims Court/Fire||Judge Roscoe C. Briggs/Chief Scott||1980/1982|
|The Dukes of Hazzard||Cletus Falls In Love||Mister Hodges||1981|
|Doogie Howser, M.D.||Doogenstein||Philip Leonetti||1990|
|Coach||Vegas Odds||Mister Burrows||1993|
|Frasier||Burying a Grudge||Doctor Sternstein||1994|
|High Incident||Knock Knock||Steven Carlisle||1997|
|The Practice||Trial And Error||Judge Skully (Uncredited)||1997|
|Boy Meets World||The Honeymooners||Tourist #1||1999|
|The West Wing||Inauguration, Part I||Cardinal Patrick||2003|
|ER||Get Carter||Mister Morgan||2004|
|Ghost Whisperer||Mended Hearts||Patient||2005|
- Paul Kent - IMDb profile, imdb.com; accessed December 18, 2016.