Robert Prosky

Active - 1978 - 2009  |   Born - Dec 13, 1930 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States  |   Died - Dec 8, 2008   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Thriller, Crime

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Biography by Hal Erickson

A holder of an economics degree from Philadelphia's Temple University, Philly-born actor Robert Prosky kicked off his career by winning a televised talent contest. With his sharp-edged voice and mashed-potato features, Prosky rose to prominence as a character actor, spending 23 years with Washington, D.C.'s prestigious Arena Stage. In 1983, he was cast in the original Broadway production of Glengarry Glen Ross, winning a Tony award for his performance; he later received excellent notices for his performance as an aging Soviet bureaucrat in A Walk in the Woods. Prosky's first film role was as the backstabbing mob boss in 1981's Thief. Since that time, he has graced several films in a variety of roles -- few more likable than the wistful, washed-up horror show host in Gremlins 2 (1988), the TV station manager in Mrs. Doubtfire, and the enigmatic projectionist in Last Action Hero (1993). Among Robert Prosky's many TV assignments was the regular role of Sgt. Stan Jablonski, who in 1984 took over the morning roll call from the late Sgt. Phil Esterhaus (Michael Conrad) in Hill Street Blues.

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  • His first acting role was in his high school's production of Our Town.
  • Served for a time in the Air Force, but received a hardship discharge after the death of his father.
  • Trained for two years at the American Theatre Wing in New York.
  • For 23 years, performed as a resident actor at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.
  • Best-known to TV audiences as Sgt. Stan Jablonski on Hill Street Blues.