Lewis J. Stadlen

Active - 1972 - 1998  |   Born - May 7, 1947   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama

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Biography by Hal Erickson

The son of famed voiceover actor Allen Swift, Lewis J. Stadlen prepared for his own show business career by studying with Sanford Meisner and Stella Adler. At 19, Stadlen was cast as Mendel in the touring company of Fiddler on the Roof. He made his 1969 Broadway bow as young Julius Marx--alias Groucho--in the short-lived musical comedy Minnie's Boys. Subsequent New York theatre credits included Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys and the well-received revival of Leonard Bernstein's Candide, in which Stadlen sparkled in five distinct roles. In films since 1972, Stadlen has excelled in such eccentric characterizations as Lupinsky, a gay Polish actor forced by the Nazis to wear a pink star, in Mel Brooks' 1983 remake of To Be or Not to Be. Sitcom fans are most familiar with Stadlen's one-season portrayal of prissy political aide Jonathan Taylor on the weekly Benson. Devoting most of his time to the stage in the past two decades, Lewis J. Stadlen has appeared in such Broadway productions as Don Juan and More Don Juan and 1-2-3-4-5, and has starred in one-man shows based on the lives of Groucho Marx and S. J. Perelman.

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