The son of legendary vaudevillian Pat Harrington Sr., comic actor Pat Harrington Jr. rose to prominence via his many appearances on The Steve Allen Show and The Jack Paar Program in the late 1950s. However, few viewers recognized him as Pat Harrington Jr.: instead, he passed himself off as Italian golf pro Guido Panzini, a guise so convincing that he was invited to play in several major tournaments. Once the public at large was apprised that Harrington was neither Italian nor a master duffer, demands for his services as an actor increased immeasurably. In 1959, he was cast on The Danny Thomas Show as Danny's new son-in-law Pat Hannigan (Thomas had planned to spin off Harrington and his TV daughter Penney Parker into their own series, but this was not to be). In 1962, he served as host of Stump the Stars, a revamped version of the old Summer replacement perennial Pantomime Quiz. Seven years later, he was seen as sharkish PR man Tony Lawrence on the short-lived TV adaptation of Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. In 1975, Harrington landed his signature role as macho, aphorism-spouting handyman Dwayne Schneider on the TV sitcom One Day at a Time; he remained with the series until its cancellation in 1984, earning an Emmy along the way. In films, Pat Harrington Jr. has been seen in a gallery of diverse portrayals, most amusingly as smoothly villainous telephone company spokesman Arlington Haven in The President's Analyst (1967). Harrington continued to act until 2012; his last acting appearance was a guest-spot on Hot in Cleveland, starring his former One Day at a Time co-star Valerie Harper. He died in 2016, at age 86.
Biography by Hal Erickson
- Father was a vaudevillian who performed on Broadway.
- Served in the Air Force during the Korean War.
- First job in the entertainment industry was in the mail room at NBC.
- Played the role of Guido Panzini, an Italian immigrant, on Jack Paar's show with such conviction that even Immigration officials were unsure of his true nationality.
- Landed a series of Ace Hardware commercials as a result of his role as Schneider on One Day at a Time.