Steve Guttenberg

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Steve Guttenberg
Guttenberg in October 2013
Steven Robert Guttenberg

(1958-08-24) August 24, 1958 (age 65)
New York City, New York, U.S.
  • Actor
  • author
  • producer
  • director
  • businessman
Years active1977–present
Denise Bixler
(m. 1988; div. 1992)
Emily Smith
(m. 2019)

Steven Robert Guttenberg (born August 24, 1958) is an American actor, author, businessman, producer, and director. His lead roles in Hollywood films of the 1980s and 1990s include Cocoon, Police Academy, Three Men and a Baby, Diner, The Bedroom Window, Three Men and a Little Lady, The Big Green, and Short Circuit.

Early life[edit]

Guttenberg was born on August 24, 1958,[1] in Brooklyn, New York,[2] the only son, along with his two sisters, of Ann Iris (née Newman), a surgical assistant, and Jerome Stanley Guttenberg, an electrical engineer.[citation needed] His godfather is actor Michael Bell.[3] He had a Jewish upbringing[4] in the Flushing neighborhood of the borough of Queens.[2] In 1976, he graduated from Plainedge High School after his family moved from Queens to North Massapequa.[5][6][7] While still in high school, Guttenberg attended a summer program at the Juilliard School and studied under John Houseman. During that time period, he auditioned for and won a part in an off-Broadway production of The Lion in Winter.[5][7]

After high school, Guttenberg attended the University at Albany, SUNY for a year. When he left SUNY, he moved to California to pursue an acting career.[5][7] As he recounts,[where?] within weeks he was cast in a Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial playing opposite Colonel Sanders.


1977 to 1984: Early roles to breakthrough[edit]

After playing an uncredited bit part in the suspense film Rollercoaster,[8] Guttenberg had his first screen credit in the TV movie Something for Joey (1977). He then played the starring role in the 1977 California high-school comedy The Chicken Chronicles, set in Beverly Hills in 1969. He also appeared in the 1978 film The Boys From Brazil, based on the Ira Levin bestseller, and guest-starred on Family.

Guttenberg starred in the short-lived TV series Billy (1979), based on Billy Liar. He had a supporting role in the tennis romance film Players (1979). In 1980, a Coca-Cola commercial featured him trying to help a non-English-speaking woman with a flat bicycle tire.[9]

Guttenberg starred in the TV movie To Race the Wind (1980) playing blind lawyer Harold Krents. The same year, he starred in the Nancy Walker-directed Can't Stop the Music, a semiautobiographical movie about the disco group Village People.

Guttenberg played Jim Craig in the TV movie Miracle on Ice (1981). He appeared in Barry Levinson's Diner (1982), then starred in another short-lived TV series No Soap, Radio (1982). He starred in the action-comedy The Man Who Wasn't There (1983) and had a supporting part in the post-apocalyptic television movie The Day After (1983). Guttenberg starred in The Ferret (1984) a pilot for a TV series that was not picked up.[citation needed]

In 1984, Guttenberg played the lead role in Police Academy. It grossed $8.5 million in its opening weekend and over $149 million worldwide, against a budget of $4.5 million, and of the film franchise it launched, it is the most successful.[10] He then became a busy star over the next four years, appearing in nine starring roles, tying with Gene Hackman for busiest actor.[11]

1985 to 1990: Subsequent success[edit]

In 1985, Police Academy was quickly followed by a sequel, Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment. Guttenberg then had the romantic male lead in Cocoon, another box-office success. A comedy in which he starred, Bad Medicine, was not particularly successful.

In 1986, Guttenberg played Pecos Bill in an episode of Tall Tales & Legends, then was in Police Academy 3: Back in Training.

In 1986, Guttenberg starred in Short Circuit opposite Ally Sheedy, another very popular film.

In 1987, he changed pace with the thriller The Bedroom Window , directed by Curtis Hanson, then made Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol, his last Police Academy Film. Guttenberg had a cameo in Amazon Women on the Moon and supported Michael Caine and Sally Field in Surrender. Guttenberg had the biggest financial success of his career to date with Three Men and a Baby with Tom Selleck and Ted Danson.

In 1988, he starred with Peter O'Toole and Daryl Hannah in High Spirits, which flopped.

In 1989, he appeared in the Michael Jackson music video "Liberian Girl".[12] He also acted in Cocoon: The Return which was a commercial disappointment.


In 1990, he replaced Timothy Hutton in the lead role of Prelude to a Kiss at the Helen Hayes Theatre on Broadway.[13] He also performed in London's West End, where he starred in The Boys Next Door. He appeared in the world stage premiere production of Furthest From the Sun, which Woody Harrelson directed and co-authored. In films, he acted in Don't Tell Her It's Me and 3 Men and a Little Lady.

He directed "Love Off Limits" for CBS Schoolbreak Special in 1993.

In 1995, he acted in The Big Green. He was among the ensemble in Home for the Holidays, and starred in It Takes Two with Kirstie Alley and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.

In 1997, he also starred in Zeus and Roxanne, Casper: A Spirited Beginning and alongside Kirsten Dunst in Disney's Tower of Terror, based on the attraction at the Disney's Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

In 1998, Guttenberg acted in action films, Airborne, and Overdrive, as well as the comedy Home Team.


His first film as director/producer/co-screenwriter/star was P.S. Your Cat Is Dead (2002), a film adaptation of a novel and Broadway play by James Kirkwood, Jr.[5] He starred in Mojave Phone Booth (2006) as Barry, and Making Change as Trafton. In Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus and its sequel Meet the Santas, he played the starring role of Nick.

He had a recurring role in the 2005–2006 season of the television series Veronica Mars as Woody Goodman, a wealthy businessman and community leader. He appeared as a lead in the NBC made-for-TV remake of The Poseidon Adventure, which aired on November 20, 2005, playing Richard Clarke, a failing writer having an affair with a massage therapist. He also appeared in According to Jim episode "Two for the Money" in 2008.

On August 25, 2008, Guttenberg released a video titled: "Steve Guttenberg's Steak House"[14] on Will Ferrell's Funny or Die website. He took part in the 2008 spring season of Dancing with the Stars with professional dancer Anna Trebunskaya, and was eliminated on April 1.[15]

In October 2008, a video was released which appeared to show Guttenberg jogging nearly naked through Central Park.[16] On November 12, 2008, Guttenberg appeared as a guest on the British talk show The Paul O'Grady Show, where he said he made the video for Will Ferrell's Funny or Die website, but then decided to release it virally "as if it were real"[17] as part of a challenge set on the show. He then went on to become the Guinness World Record Holder for preparing the most hot-dogs in one minute.[18]


Guttenberg played himself in an episode of the Starz comedy Party Down that aired May 21, 2010.

Guttenberg starred in season seven, episode six of Law & Order: Criminal Intent (air date: November 8, 2007).

He appeared on Broadway from late 2011 to early 2012 in Woody Allen's one-act play Honeymoon Hotel, which was part of the show Relatively Speaking.[13]

Guttenberg can be seen on History Channel's 2015 miniseries Sons of Liberty. He plays Jack Bonner.

In fall 2014, Guttenberg wrapped production on SyFy Channel's Lavalantula, scheduled to premiere summer 2015.[19]

Guttenberg was featured in season six, episode eight of Community, "Intro to Recycled Cinema", which aired on Yahoo Screen in April 2015.[20]

Guttenberg starred in the Cinderella pantomime at Churchill Theatre in Bromley, UK, playing the Baron (father of Cinderella) in 2008.[21] To celebrate Guttenberg's involvement, the local Empire Cinema screened Police Academy on 19 November. Guttenberg introduced the film and answered questions.[22][23]


On May 21, 2020, Guttenberg appeared on Holey Moley II: The Sequel. Later, on August 2, he appeared on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, via Cameo.

Guttenberg starred in the Lifetime film How to Murder Your Husband: The Nancy Brophy Story where he portrayed Daniel Brophy.[24]

Rumored projects[edit]

During an interview on November 4, 2009, Guttenberg mentioned that Disney was developing a second sequel to Three Men and a Baby, entitled Three Men and a Bride. Guttenberg stated that his co-stars, Ted Danson and Tom Selleck, would return for the sequel.[25] He also expressed his interest in making additional sequels to the Police Academy and Cocoon movies, saying they would be surefire hits if they were to be made.[26]

In an interview published August 1, 2010, Guttenberg revealed that David Diamond and David Weissman were writing a script for Police Academy 8.[27] On September 3, 2018, Guttenberg said that a new Police Academy film is packaged but has no other details.[28]


Guttenberg's production company, Mr. Kirby Productions, is named after Gerald J. Kirby, his high-school drama teacher.[5]

In 1995, he was name-checked in The Simpsons episode "Homer the Great" in the song "We Do", whereby a fictional ancient secret society called the Stonecutters (a parody of the Freemasons) claim it was them that made Guttenberg a star. Guttenberg was reportedly flattered by the reference.[29]

Personal life[edit]

Guttenberg married model Denise Bixler on September 30, 1988.[30] They separated in June 1991[31] and divorced in 1992.[32]

Guttenberg has lived with WCBS-TV reporter Emily Smith since 2014.[33] On December 25, 2016, they announced their engagement.[34][35] They married on January 19, 2019.[36]


Guttenberg is involved with charities whose goal is to improve opportunities for the homeless and for young people.[37] In 2016, a trust in Guttenberg's honor was established to provide support services to the homeless population of Los Angeles.[38] The Entertainment Industry Foundation, Hollywood's charity arm, selected him to be Ambassador for Children's Issues because of his work on behalf of children and the homeless.[39]

At the 2016 New York Walk to Fight Lymphedema & Lymphatic Diseases in Brooklyn, Guttenberg announced, via a pre-recorded message, that he had joined the Lymphatic Education & Research Network's (LE&RN) Honorary Board.


The sixth-annual Fire Island Golden Wagon Film Festival honored Guttenberg with the 2008 Tony Randall Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in the entertainment industry, as well as his community service.[40] The award was created in tribute to the first Golden Wagon honoree, Tony Randall, and is given to a member of the entertainment industry who embodies the same love of Fire Island, independent spirit, and community service that Randall shared.

On December 12, 2011, Guttenberg received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[41] The star is located at 6411 Hollywood Blvd. On October 19, 2014, Guttenberg received a key to the city from Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine for his work with Fun Paw Care, raising awareness for animal rights.[42]


  • The Guttenberg Bible – A memoir published in May 2012 by Thomas Dunne Books
  • The Kids from D.I.S.C.O. (September 2014)



  1. ^ Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television: Volume 1. Cengage. 1985. p. 123. ISBN 9780810302419.
  2. ^ a b Guttenberg, Steve, in Katz, Eileen (January 23, 2017). "Why Steve Guttenberg Lives on the Upper West Side". West Side Rag. Manhattan. Archived from the original on June 23, 2017. Retrieved January 21, 2019. I was born in Brooklyn, raised in Flushing, Queens, then Massapequa for my middle and high school years.
  3. ^ "Q&A with actor Steve Guttenberg". NASDAQ.
  4. ^ Aushenker, Michael (January 23, 2003). "P.S., Your Mensch Is Dead—for Now". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Archived from the original on October 21, 2014. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d e Fischler, Marcelle S. (January 19, 2003). "A Cheese Slice and a Dose of South Shore". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Guttenberg, Steve [@SteveGuttbuck] (January 11, 2019). "1975 The Math Room, Plainedge High School" (Tweet) – via Twitter. "@PLainedge1976".
  7. ^ a b c Carlson, Timothy (May 19, 1979). "Show Biz". Youngstown Vindicator. Youngstown, Ohio. Note: Source says Guttenberg transferred to New York City's High School of Performing Arts for his final two years of high school.
  8. ^ Harris, Will (July 25, 2015). "Steve Guttenberg on 'Police Academy', 'Party Down', and turning down 'Sharknado". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on September 20, 2017. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  9. ^ "COCA-COLA: 10-SPEED BIKE {ART DIRECTORS CLUB, 1981: 60TH ANNUAL EXHIBITION}". Retrieved December 11, 2021.
  10. ^ Block, Alex Ben; Wilson, Lucy Autrey, eds. (2010). George Lucas's Blockbusting: A Decade-by-Decade Survey of Timeless Movies Including Untold Secrets of Their Financial and Cultural Success. HarperCollins. p. 631. ISBN 9780061778896.
  11. ^ Cohn, Lawrence (October 5, 1988). "Acting Jobs Steadiest Since Studio Era". Variety. p. 1.
  12. ^ "Liberian Girl - Michael Jackson". Vevo. Archived from the original on December 2, 2013.
  13. ^ a b Zeitchik, Steven (October 16, 2011). "Steve Guttenberg is back in the majors". Los Angeles Times.
  14. ^ "Steve Guttenberg's Steak House". Archived from the original on October 10, 2008. Retrieved August 25, 2008.
  15. ^ "Steve Guttenberg Eliminated From 'Dancing With The Stars'". Access Hollywood. April 2, 2008. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  16. ^ "Why Is the Goot Running in Central Park With No Bottoms? - Slideshow - Daily Intel". Intelligencer. November 5, 2008. Retrieved September 8, 2021.
  17. ^ "Steve Guttenberg Explains Naked Jogging Video and Wins World Record | Celebrity Gossip and Entertainment News | VH1 Celebrity". Archived from the original on June 3, 2015. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  18. ^ "Steve Guttenberg Wins World Record, Spills Beans On Naked Jogging". VH1. November 12, 2008. Archived from the original on September 15, 2012. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  19. ^ Deadline, The (September 22, 2014). "'Lavalantula': Lava-Spewing Tarantulas Attack Los Angeles In Syfy's Latest Schlock-athon". Deadline. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  20. ^ Community Season Six (April 28, 2015). "Community Episode 8: Intro to Recycled Cinema [Video]". Archived from the original on May 24, 2015. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  21. ^ Gee, Alastair (December 15, 2008). "Steve Guttenberg: from Hollywood to panto in Kent". The Times. TimesOnline. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  22. ^ Mullins, Scott (November 21, 2008). "Steve Guttenberg faced fans questions at a Police Academy screening at The Empire, Bromley". Archived from the original on August 28, 2012. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  23. ^ Eustice, Kerry Ann (November 21, 2008). "Actor Steve Guttenberg talks about starring in panto at The Churchill, Bromley". Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  24. ^ Lambe, Stacy (December 16, 2022). "'How to Murder Your Husband': Watch Cybill Shepherd and Steve Guttenberg in the Trailer (Exclusive)". ET Online. Retrieved January 15, 2023.
  25. ^ "Tom Selleck says he's up for making 'Three Men and a Baby' sequel". Entertainment Weekly. January 3, 2013. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  26. ^ "Guttenberg, Danson, Selleck Walking Down the Aisle for 'Three Men and a Bride'?". Moviefone. November 4, 2009. Archived from the original on January 9, 2010. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  27. ^ Gencarelli, Mike (August 1, 2010). "Interview with Steve Guttenberg". Movie Mikes. Archived from the original on August 11, 2010. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
  28. ^ "Steve Guttenberg says another 'Police Academy' film is in the works". Yahoo. September 4, 2018. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
  29. ^ "How Steve Guttenberg Feels About 'Simpsons' Jab in Alf Clausen's Stonecutter Song (Video)". TheWrap. September 1, 2017. Retrieved September 19, 2021.
  30. ^ "Steve Guttenberg Weds". Rome News-Tribune. October 4, 1988.
  31. ^ "Guttenberg seeks divorce from model". Chicago Sun-Times. January 17, 1992.
  32. ^ "The Devil and Steve Guttenberg: Love, Sex, Fame And The Rollercoaster From 'Police Academy' To 'Ballers'". The Daily Beast. July 23, 2017.
  33. ^ Kaufman, Joanne (August 19, 2016). "Steve Guttenberg's Little Home in the Sky". The New York Times. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  34. ^ "Grand Island native Emily Smith engaged to actor Steve Guttenberg". The Buffalo News. Buffalo, New York. December 27, 2016. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  35. ^ Smith, Emily, in "yes, yes, yes". Emily Smith Facebook account. December 25, 2016. Archived from the original on February 26, 2022. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  36. ^ Fernandez, Alexia (January 20, 2019). "Three Men and a Baby Star Steve Guttenberg Marries News Anchor Emily Smith in Intimate Ceremony". People. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  37. ^ "Steve Guttenberg: Charity Work & Causes". Look to the Stars. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  38. ^ "Private Citizens Aid Los Angeles Homeless Population". Los Angeles Times. January 16, 2016. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  39. ^ "Steve Guttenberg Charity Work, Events and Causes". Look to the Stars. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  40. ^ Timothy Bolger (August 6, 2008). "6th Annual Golden Wagon Film Festival Rocks OB". EDGE Media Network.
  41. ^ "Steve Guttenberg gets star on Hollywood Walk of Fame". The Washington Post. December 12, 2011.
  42. ^ "Steve Guttenberg, Fun Paw Care & Sabrina Cohen Foundation". October 20, 2014. Retrieved April 14, 2018.

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