Excellent, prolific and dependable character actor Terry Kiser was born in Omaha, Nebraska. Terry attended the University of Kansas on both football and dramatic scholarships. He graduated with a degree in Industrial Engineering and worked for three years in this profession in his hometown of Omaha. Kiser also acted in some 50 plays around this same time. Terry then moved to New York and studied his craft at the Actors Studio, where he was mentored by legendary Method acting teacher Lee Strasberg. Following several gigs in television commercials, he made his film debut as a preacher in the film Rachel, Rachel (1968). Although often cast as sleazy and unlikable scoundrels, Terry has shown on occasion that he can portray more sympathetic parts with equal skill and conviction.
Kiser gave an especially strong and engaging performance in a rare substantial starring role in the little seen drama Lapin 360 (1972). Best known as the deceased, but still active Bernie Lomax in the hilarious “Weekend at Bernie’s” films, Terry’s other memorable roles include Chuck Norris’ ill-fated cop partner Dave Pierce in the exciting An Eye for an Eye (1981), shady businessman Freddy Barrett in the entertaining science fiction disaster film Starflight: The Plane That Couldn’t Land (1983), petty worthless hoodlum Jesse Hardwick in the superior horror anthology opus From a Whisper to a Scream (1987), sneaky psychiatrist Dr. Crews in Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), and the evil Count Gunther Spretzle in Mannequin: On the Move (1991). Kiser had a recurring part on the daytime soap opera The Doctors (1963).
Among the many television series Terry has done guest spots on are Will & Grace (1998), Walker, Texas Ranger (1993), Baywatch Nights (1995), Dream On (1990), The Golden Girls (1985), L.A. Law (1986), Hunter (1984), Murder, She Wrote (1984), Riptide (1984), Knight Rider (1982), The Fall Guy (1981), Magnum, P.I. (1980), Hill Street Blues (1981), CHiPs (1977), Diff’rent Strokes (1978), All in the Family (1971), Maude (1972), Hawaii Five-O (1968), The Bionic Woman (1976), The Six Million Dollar Man (1974), and Baretta (1975). In addition to his film and television work, Kiser has acted on stage in the Broadway plays “God’s Favorite” (Terry received a Tony Award nomination for his performance in this Neil Simon comedy), “Shelter”, “The Castro Complex”, and “Paris Is Out!”. Terry won both an Obie and a Theater World Award for his exemplary acting in the dramatic play “Fortune and Men’s Eyes”.
Terry currently resides in Austin, TX and co-founded the premiere acting school The Actors Arena.
Terry Kiser will be at Frightmare In The Falls Saturday & Sunday.