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I’m sort of a jack of all trades in show business: actor, artist, and author. I’ve acted alongside Peter Sellers, Walter Matthau, Lauren Bacall, Mary Tyler Moore, and Elizabeth Taylor. I played Goldie Hawn`s boyfriend in "Cactus Flower", Melvin`s lawyer in "Melvin And Howard" and the obsequious journalist in John Wayne`s "The Shootist". My ability as a role-player has parlayed over to the pen with a successful string of plays from Off-Broadway to PBS, now into books.
I’ve written two books that have been published so far. My first book is an award-winning memoir about show business, addiction, and recovery, “North of Hollywood: An Actor’s Stumbling Baby Steps Toward Kindness and Peace”, which broke the fourth wall between me and my audience. Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey, author of “A Woman of Independent Means”, wrote that it is "enchantingly written with a sure hand and a knowing eye. Rick Lenz reveals with enormous poignancy and gleeful insight what it has taken to make one real-life work while pursuing the Hollywood dream."
My newest release, “The Alexandrite: A Time-Travel Noir”, is a kaleidoscopic novel that glimpses Hollywood's past and present through the lenses of time travel, hypnotism, gemology, and casting calls for "Bus Stop," Marilyn Monroe's haunting blockbuster. Kirkus Reviews called this genre-bender a "mesmerizing story."
When I’m not riding away on my next kaleidoscopic quest, I can be found painting, playing the piano, or reading at home with my beloved wife, Linda.
- Passion and the Creative Arts
- Developing a career in film and stage acting
- Theatrical directing
- Show business in general
- Becoming an author
- Being a successful playwright
- Marketing books and plays
- How did you become an actor?
- You worked with a lot of actors who were a generation older than you. What was especially memorable?
- Tell us about John Wayne sending you to the hospital.
- What kinds of things did you do to get by as you were trying to get established as an actor?
- Who did you run into, meet or just see when you were first in New York, people you never thought you’d meet or see?
- You did Cactus Flower on Broadway and the movie version. Which was the most fun?
- What was it like to play the Cary Grant role in Arsenic and Old Lace with the Gabor sisters onstage?
- Hal Erickson said in All Movie Guide: “Rick Lenz has steadfastly avoided pigeonholing as a 'type,' playing gunslingers, victims, villains, patient husbands, insensitive fools, intellectuals and even a wimpy murder-mystery fanatic in the (Hallmark) remake of Hitchcock's Shadow Of A Doubt. Did you ever stay with a role for a while? Did you ever do a TV series?
- When and why did you decide to switch to writing? Who were your influences?
- What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Autry Museum of the American West interview with Rob Word and Ed Asner (May 15, 2018-not online yet)
I'll promote my appearance through my social media channels