Richard Erdman

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Richard Erdman
Richard Erdman (1950) The Admiral Was a Lady.jpg
Born John Richard Erdmann
(1925-06-01) June 1, 1925 (age 92)
Enid, Oklahoma, USA
Nationality American
Other names Dick Erdman
Occupation Actor, occasional director
Years active 1944–present
Spouse(s) Leza Holland (married 1948–1950, divorced)
Sharon Randall (married since 1953)
Children One daughter, deceased

Richard "Dick" Erdman (born June 1, 1925) is an American actor and occasional director.[1] He has appeared in more than 160 film, television and theater productions since 1944, mostly in supporting roles.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Erdman was born John Richard Erdmann in Enid in northern Oklahoma. His mother was Allie J. Erdman. His parents divorced during his childhood. Erdman, his sibling and his mother moved to Colorado Springs when he was a teenager. He graduated from Palmer High School, where he would perform on stage. During his youth, he worked as a paper boy for the Colorado Springs Evening Telegraph. A stage director named Newton Winburne encouraged him to try his luck in Hollywood.[3]

Erdman started his career at Warner Bros. where he signed a studio contract. Two of his first roles were in the films Mr. Skeffington, starring Bette Davis and Claude Rains and Janie, starring Joyce Reynolds. After a few smaller roles he achieved success as a character actor in supporting roles. In a career that has spanned seven decades, his best-known roles are that of the barracks chief Hoffy in Stalag 17, and the garrulous, tedious barfly McNulty in the Twilight Zone episode "A Kind of a Stopwatch" (" think about that now!"). He also appeared in The Men (1950) with Marlon Brando and the film noir Cry Danger (1951) with Dick Powell and Rhonda Fleming. In Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) he played Colonel Edward F. French, the officer who responded to the failure to transmit the warning to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

He directed the 1971 TV film Mooch Goes to Hollywood.[4] From 2009 to 2015, Erdman had a recurring role as the old student Leonard Rodriguez on Community.

Personal life[edit]

Erdman married actress Leza Holland in 1948, but they divorced two years later. He has been married to his second wife, Sharon Randall, since 1953. They had one daughter, Erica, who was born in 1954 and died on February 18, 2010, of an accidental overdose of prescription medicine.[5] Erica was a poet and illustrator (The Ellyn Maybe Coloring Book) and the author of one full-length collection of poems (The Apocalyptic Kid).

Selected filmography[edit]

Film appearances (complete)[edit]

Television appearances (selected)[edit]

Richard Erdman as a director (complete)[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Richard Erdman". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ Valentine, Dan (July 21, 1967). "Nothing Serious". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  3. ^ Aldridge, Dorothy (October 14, 1972). "A Character Actor Career Which Began Here Spins a 30-year Cycle, Climaxing in Colorado". Colorado Springs Gazette. Retrieved July 1, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Mooch Goes to Hollywood". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ "Erica E. Erdman". The Los Angeles Times. February 26, 2010. Retrieved February 19, 2017. 

External links[edit]