Harry Hamlin

Active - 1978 - 2018  |   Born - Oct 30, 1951 in Pasadena, California, United States  |   Genres - Drama, Thriller, Comedy, Crime, Action

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Handsome American actor Harry Hamlin studied his craft at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theatre. Hamlin made his film debut as a John Garfieldesque prizefighter in the 1930s spoof Movie, Movie (1978). Three years later, he played Perseus in the Ray Harryhausen co-produced Clash of the Titans (1981). Also appearing in this film was international sex symbol Ursula Andress, who became Hamlin's "constant companion" over the next few years, a liaison that resulted in a son. Even as his film career dwindled down to such forgettable fare as Blue Skies Again (1983), in which he played an immature Ted Turner type, Hamlin's career flourished on television. He starred in a 1979 TV miniseries adaptation of James T. Farrell's Studs Lonigan, played a courageous astronaut on the 1985 multi-episode production Space, and essayed the role of a straying politician in the 1988 two-parter Favorite Son. Hamlin's best-known TV assignment, which he launched in 1986, was the role of amorous litigation attorney Michael Kuzak on the popular NBC series L.A. Law. He is divorced from actress Nicollette Sheridan.

Hamlin continued to find steady work throughout the 90s, appearing on numerous TV shows such as The Outer Limits, Remember WENN, and The Nanny, and even providing voice work for Batman: The Animated Series. The actor also took roles in various films and TV movies like Allie & Me and Badge of Betrayal. After marrying soap actress Lisa Rinna in 1997, he entered the new millennium with no plans to slow down, reuniting with the L.A. Law cast in 2002 for L.A. Law: The Movie, and taking a recurring role on the TV show Veronica Mars as the movie star father of the character Logan. Interestingly enough, in an episode of the show Hamlin's character swears under oath that in 1987 he was People Magazine's Sexiest Man of the Year, and Hamlin was in fact given that very title that same year.

He returned to the small-screen to compete in the third season of the reality show Dancing With the Stars, and tried his hand at scripted series television yet again in 2009 with Harper's Island.

Movie Highlights

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  • Gave up a job as a PBS production assistant to study at the American Conservatory Theater.
  • Made his Broadway debut in a 1984 revival of the Clifford Odets play Awake and Sing!
  • Was named People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive in 1987.
  • Costarred with his real-life wife, Lisa Rinna, on Veronica Mars; they played husband-and-wife actors Aaron and Lynn Echolls.
  • Also appeared in a reality show, Harry Loves Lisa, with his wife. 
  • Published the book Full Frontal Nudity: The Making of an Accidental Actor in 2010.