C.C.N.Y. graduate Peter Scolari was endowed with an instantly likeable personality and a gift for the fast quip. As such, he was ideally cast on the 1980 TV sitcom Bosom Buddies as Henry Desmond, one of two male "roomies" forced by circumstance to disguise themselves as women (we'll get to Scolari's co-star in a moment). On either side of Bosom Buddies' two-season run, Scolari was featured on the short-lived sitcoms Goodtime Girls (1984) and Baby Makes Five (1983). He enjoyed a longer run in the role of trendy TV producer Michael Harris on Newhart, and was engaging and convincing as a prejudice-busting high school choral director in the Disney TV movie Perfect Harmony (1991). It is one of the inequities of show business that so ingratiating a performer as Peter Scolari was starring in such direct-to-video pond scum as Ticks (1994) and co-starring in such Hall-of-Obscurity theatrical films as Camp Nowhere (1994), while his old Bosom Buddies co-star, Tom Hanks, was collecting all manner of industry awards for such films as Philadelphia and Forrest Gump, among others.
Biography by Hal Erickson
- Knew he wanted to be an actor after performing in a high-school production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
- Honed his acting skills as an apprentice at the Colonnades Theatre Lab in New York.
- Appeared as a regular on the short-lived ABC sitcom Goodtime Girls in 1980.
- Big break came later in 1980 when he was cast opposite Tom Hanks on Bosom Buddies.
- Played a wacky inventor in the 1997 TV version of the hit movie Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
- Reteamed with Tom Hanks on That Thing You Do!, From the Earth to the Moon and The Polar Express.
- Made his Broadway debut in Hairspray in 2003; later appeared on the Great White Way in Sly Fox and Magic/Bird.
- Is an accomplished juggler.