Richard Edson

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Richard Edson
Edson holding a producer credit for The 1 Second Film in May 2006
Born (1954-01-01) January 1, 1954 (age 69)
Occupation(s)Actor, musician
Years active1979–present

Richard Edson (born January 1, 1954)[1] is an American actor and musician.

Personal life[edit]

Edson was born in New Rochelle, New York to a Jewish family. He has one brother, Steven, who resides in the Boston area, and two sisters, Andrea, who resides in Newton, Massachusetts and Jennifer, who resides in New York City. His father, Arnold (1917–2012), was one of the first Marine officers to land at Guadalcanal in August 1942. After the war, his father became a toy manufacturer.[2] His mother, Marian, a retired school teacher, resides in New Rochelle.

Music career[edit]

In 1979, Richard was a founding member of the San Francisco art rock band The Alterboys with Snuky Tate, Tono Rondone, Richard Kelly and JC Garrett, playing both drums and trumpet. From 1981 to 1982, he was Sonic Youth's original drummer and played drums for Konk at the same time. After the release of Sonic Youth's self-titled debut EP, Edson left the band to play with Konk full-time.[3] Edson also played trumpet with San Francisco band The Offs on the group's eponymous 1984 album.

Acting career[edit]

Following his music career, Edson has worked as an actor, appearing in over 35 movies. His more notable roles include a disreputable parking garage attendant in Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), man at newspaper stand in Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), Richie in Howard the Duck (1986), Eddie in Jim Jarmusch's cult film Stranger Than Paradise (1984), real-life gambler Billy Maharg in Eight Men Out, and the title character in Joey Breaker (1993). He also appeared in Platoon (1986), Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Tougher Than Leather (1988), Let It Ride (1989), and Do the Right Thing (1989). He starred in the 1993 movie Super Mario Bros as Spike, King Koopa's cousin. In 1987, Edson performed live a main role in the Scott B and Joseph Nechvatal collaboration called Not a Door: A Spectacle at Hallwalls, based on the poetry of St. John of the Cross, Flaubert's Temptation of St. Anthony and works of Jean Genet and Georges Bataille.[4]

Edson played the lead role in three films directed by Raphael Nadjari: The Shade (1999), I Am Josh Polonski's Brother (2001)[5] and Apartment #5c (2002). In 2003, he appeared in the music video for Cave In's single, "Anchor". Edson played the central character of the video, a depressed man walking down the street with his feet encased in cement blocks.

His television appearances include The Adventures of Pete & Pete; the third-season finale of Homicide: Life on the Street; and the 1990–91 series Shannon's Deal, produced by John Sayles. Edson appeared in a 2007 TV commercial for The Travelers Companies Inc., in which he plays the human personification of risk.[citation needed]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ "Happy Birthday to New Rochelle's Richard Edson". January 2014.
  2. ^ "Arnold George Edson Obituary (1917 - 2012) the Miami Herald".
  3. ^ Browne, David (2008). Goodbye 20th Century: A Biography of Sonic Youth. Del Capo Press. pp. 79–80.
  4. ^ "Scott B and Joseph Nechvatal : Not a Door: A Spectacle at Hallwalls". September 1987.
  5. ^ "I Am Josh Polonski's Brother". AllMovie. Archived from the original on January 16, 2018.

External links[edit]