Cliff Bemis

Active - 1988 - 2015  |   Born - May 21, 1948   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama

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Biography by Nathan Southern

A burly, heavyset character player whose presence suggested both paternal warmth and authority, Cliff Bemis originally grew up on a family owned dairy farm in Elyria, OH, then (later) Lorain, OH, after his father's ailing health prevented him from continuing on as a farm laborer and prompted him to move into the floral business. Following high school graduation, Cliff attended Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio, where he discovered an intense love of drama and began to pursue professional acting work alongside his studies. He subsequently became involved in Cleveland-area theater and film on multiple levels (including numerous musical theater roles and opera roles, voiceover and jingle-singing assignments, and industrial film appearances), but for many years limited himself to Cleveland-area work. That all changed in 1987 when Bemis' path happened to criss-cross with that of husband and wife actors Robby Benson and Karla de Vito (Modern Love); the pair encouraged Bemis to relocate to Los Angeles, secure an agent, and begin signing for film and television roles. Some of the features in which Bemis appeared include Pink Cadillac (1989), Jack the Bear (1993), Nancy Drew (2007), and Billy: The Early Years (directed by Benson) as a charismatic religious leader. Over the years, Bemis also signed for innumerable television guest roles on series including Quantum Leap, Cheers, Married... With Children, and Dallas. He is also known as one of the chief television spokespeople for the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) restaurants.

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