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Also Known As: Robert Dishy Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, USA Profession: actor, director

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A prolific, instantly recognizable curly-haired character player of stage and screen, Bob Dishy has excelled at playing the 'Jewish Everyman' whether the character be a working-class stiff or a mid-level businessman coping with a nagging wife, unruly children and a bad day at the office. Presentable without being conventionally handsome, smart and experienced without being urbane, he has amassed an impressive resume over some four decades, encompassing everything from Broadway musicals to independent features. The Brooklyn-born son of immigrants (his father was from Lebanon, his mother Israel), Dishy began performing at a Catskills resort. After completing his studies at Syracuse University, he landed his first stage role replacing James Komack in the original production of the Broadway musical "Damn Yankees" in 1955. Drafted several months later, he spent his military career performing in the revue "Rolling Along." After being discharged, Dishy returned to NYC and quickly fell in with the Second City troupe whose members included Paul Sills, Barbara Harris, Avery Schreiber and Severn Darden. Honing his comedic skills, Dishy began to appear frequently in cabarets, stage revues and the NBC comedy...

A prolific, instantly recognizable curly-haired character player of stage and screen, Bob Dishy has excelled at playing the 'Jewish Everyman' whether the character be a working-class stiff or a mid-level businessman coping with a nagging wife, unruly children and a bad day at the office. Presentable without being conventionally handsome, smart and experienced without being urbane, he has amassed an impressive resume over some four decades, encompassing everything from Broadway musicals to independent features.

The Brooklyn-born son of immigrants (his father was from Lebanon, his mother Israel), Dishy began performing at a Catskills resort. After completing his studies at Syracuse University, he landed his first stage role replacing James Komack in the original production of the Broadway musical "Damn Yankees" in 1955. Drafted several months later, he spent his military career performing in the revue "Rolling Along." After being discharged, Dishy returned to NYC and quickly fell in with the Second City troupe whose members included Paul Sills, Barbara Harris, Avery Schreiber and Severn Darden. Honing his comedic skills, Dishy began to appear frequently in cabarets, stage revues and the NBC comedy series "That Was the Week That Was" (1964-65). He enjoyed a rare romantic lead opposite then-newcomer Liza Minnelli in the musical "Flora, the Red Menace" (1965) before segueing to features.

His lips ready to curl around a wisecrack in middle-class frustration, Dishy perfectly embodied Neil Simon/sitcom shtick, hence his numerous guest appearances on TV sitcoms and comedic roles in features. He debuted in films as the husband of a woman kidnapped by a frustrated mailman in "The Tiger Makes Out" (1967) and subsequently essayed an usher with a talkative blind date in "Lovers and Other Strangers" (1970), the Vice President in "First Family" (1980), the father in the film version of Simon's "Brighton Beach Memoirs" (1986) and a psychiatrist in "Don Juan DeMarco" (1995). In a rare lead, he excelled as a man attempting to cancel the order for a hit man to murder his wife in "I Wonder Who's Killing Her Now" (1976), but he offered one of his best screen performances as a conflicted school principal torn between his family and a schoolteacher in "Judy Berlin" (1999).

The busy actor has also continued to nurture his stage career. Since the 60s, he has alternated between comedies and musicals, including turns in Herb Gardner's "The Goodbye People" (1968) and "Story Theater" (1971, which also led to a syndicated TV series). In 1977, he won particular praise (and a Tony Award nomination) for his supporting turn in "Sly Fox," Larry Gelbart's modernization of "Volpone." Dishy turned serious for the first time in Jules Feiffer's "Grown-Ups" (1982) and has since displayed his mettle in roles as varied as a waiter (alongside Fyvush Finkel) in "Cafe Crown" (1988) and a retired button-maker wooing a Holocaust survivor in "Blue Light" (1994) and its revision, "The Shawl" (1996).

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Wackness, The (2008)
3.
 Broken Sole, A (2007)
4.
 Along Came Polly (2004)
5.
 Labor Pains (1999)
6.
 Judy Berlin (1999)
8.
 Jungle 2 Jungle (1997)
9.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1970:
Billed as 'Robert Dishy' for his role in the feature comedy about the plans surrounding a wedding, "Lovers and Other Strangers"
1986:
Cast as the father in the screen adaptation of Neil Simon's autobiographical play "Brighton Beach Memories"
1967:
Reprised stage role of Rocky in a NBC-TV adaptation of the Broadway musical "Damn Yankees"
:
Was a member of the Green Mansions Resorts resident acting company
1964:
Began directing career at Second City
1955:
Broadway debut in "Damn Yankees", replacing James Komack in the role of Rocky
1977:
Garnered praise for his supporting turn in the Broadway comedy "Sly Fox", Larry Gelbart's modern take on "Volpone"
:
Joined Second City troupe in NYC, appearing alongside Severn Darden, Barbara Harris and Avery Schreiber
:
Performed off-Broadway in "Cafe Crown" (playing a waiter alongside Fyvush Finkel) and on Broadway in the revival of "The Tenth Man", featuring Phoebe Cates
1978:
Played Dr Friedman in the short-lived ABC sitcom "A.E.S. Hudson Street"
1976:
Played first top-billed role in films in "I Wonder Who's Killing Her Now?"
1996:
Reprised role of Simon in "The Shawl", a revised version of the 1994 play
1974:
TV-movie debut in "It Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Guy" (1974)
1994:
Acted in first primetime network TV-movie in over a decade, "Thicker Than Water: The Larry McLinden Story"
1994:
Began playing recurring role of defense attorney Lawrence Weaver on NBC's "Law & Order"
1972:
Guest starred in the pilot episode of "Maude" (CBS)
1967:
Made feature film debut in "The Tiger Makes Out"
1994:
Originated the role of Simon in "Blue Light", a stage adaptation of Cynthia Ozick's "The Shawl", directed by Sidney Lumet
1971:
Performed as a regular on the syndicated children's anthology, "Story Theater"
1957:
Served with the US Army; performed in military shows in an 11-month tour (often singing "Heart" from "Damn Yankees"); won an All-Army Entertainment Contest for performance in the revue "Rolling Along"
1976:
Starred in the title role of the unsuccessful ABC pilot "Ace", about an eccentric private investigator
:
Was a regular on the TV news satire, "That Was the Week That Was" (NBC)
1959:
Appeared in the NYC revue "Chic"
1984:
Appeared on the short-lived CBS comedy series, "The Comedy Zone"
1999:
Co-starred as the school principal in the independent feature "Judy Berlin", screened at the Sundance Film Festival
1982:
Had first dramatic stage role in Jules Feiffer's "Grown-Ups"
:
Raised in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, New York
1999:
Returned to Broadway as co-star of a revival of Arthur Miller's "The Price", staged by James Naughton
1968:
Starred on Broadway in Herb Gardner's short-lived play "The Goodbye People"
1965:
Starred opposite Liza Minnelli in the Kander & Ebb musical "Flora, the Red Menace"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

New Utrecht High School: Brooklyn, New York -
Seth Lowe Junior High School: Brooklyn, New York -
P S 205: Brooklyn, New York -
Syracuse University: Syracuse, New York - 1955

Notes

Received chancellor's medal for distinguished achievement from Syracuse University

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Judy Graubart. British.
wife:
Judy Graubart. Actor. Co-starred with Dishy in "Story Theater"; was a regular on "The Electric Comedy" in the 1970s; married in the 1980s.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Nathan Dishy. Salesman. Lebanese; born in Beirut.
father:
Nathan Dishy. Has at least one.
mother:
Amy Dishy. Had eight; Murphy was the sixth oldest.
mother:
Amy Dishy. Born in Jerusalem in October 1898; died in January 1976.
son:
Samuel Nathan Dishy. Survived him.
son:
Samuel Nathan Dishy. Born in 1987.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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