Sandy Helberg

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Sandy Helberg
Me 2014-01-02 09-00.jpg
Sandy Helberg on January 2, 2014
Born (1949-05-28) May 28, 1949 (age 68)
Frankfurt, West Germany
Years active 1973-2012
Spouse(s) Harriet {née Birnbaum) (1975-present; 2 children)
Children Mason Helberg
Simon Helberg

Sandy Helberg (born May 28, 1949) is a German-born American actor.

Early life[edit]

Helberg was born in Frankfurt, Germany, the son of Tonia (née Altman) and Sam Helberg. His parents were both Holocaust survivors from Poland who met in a concentration camp.[1][2] They emigrated to the United States in 1950,[1] where his father, originally a barber, eventually became a real estate developer in Toledo, Ohio, where Sandy and his brothers Ted and Tom were raised.[2]


He relocated to New York City and studied acting with Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse. He performed stand-up comedy and was part of an improv group that appeared in clubs in Greenwich Village. He later moved to Los Angeles, becoming an original member of the Los Angeles improv group, The Groundlings. Acting in several comedy films, in particular three Mel Brooks films High Anxiety, History of the World: Part 1, and Spaceballs, he starred in the comedy films The Hollywood Knights and Up the Creek.

Helberg wrote and starred in the short-lived 1977 syndicated TV series The Lorenzo and Henrietta Music Show and the 1979 CBS TV series Flatbush. He has made numerous guest appearances on TV shows, including Trapper John, M.D., Remington Steele, Newhart, The Jeffersons, M*A*S*H, Married... with Children, The Wonder Years, Night Court, Fernwood Tonight, Knight Rider, Too Close for Comfort, Get a Life, House Calls, Cybill, and Days of Our Lives among others.

Helberg co-starred in the NBC miniseries, Harold Robbins' 79 Park Avenue, and a CBS movie of the week, More Wild Wild West. He played Yeoman Purser Burl "Gopher" Smith in The Love Boat pilot;[which?] however, when it became an ABC television series, Fred Grandy took over the role.

Helberg and his wife, Harriet Helberg, wrote episodes for such television series as The Golden Girls, Perfect Strangers, Dear John, and Harry and the Hendersons. He also co-produced USO Salute to the Troops for HBO/TBS.

Personal life[edit]

Helberg has been married to the former Harriet Birnbaum,[3] a casting director by her own trade, since April 6, 1975, and has two sons, Mason and actor Simon.



  1. ^ a b "Nazi camp survivor was active in Jewish groups". Toledo Blade. April 11, 2007. 
  2. ^ a b "Holocaust survivor developed real estate". Toledo Blade. September 9, 2003. 
  3. ^ "Birnbaum, et al v. G.D. Searle Company, et al". Maryland District Court Case No. 1:90-cv-01715-WEB. June 26, 1990. Archived from the original on April 15, 2013. 

External links[edit]