Steve Guttenberg

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Steve Guttenberg
Steve Guttenberg 2013.jpg
Guttenberg in October 2013
Born Steven Robert Guttenberg
(1958-08-24) August 24, 1958 (age 59)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor, author, producer, director, businessman, comedian
Years active 1977–present
Spouse(s) Denise Bixler (1988–1992)

Steven Robert Guttenberg (born August 24, 1958) is an American actor, comedian, author, businessman, producer, and director. He starred in 1984's Police Academy, and went on to perform in lead roles in Hollywood films of the 1980s, including Cocoon, Three Men and a Baby, Three Men and a Little Lady and Short Circuit.

Early life

Guttenberg was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Ann Iris (née Newman), a surgical assistant, and Jerome Stanley Guttenberg, an electrical engineer. He has two sisters.[1] He had a Jewish upbringing[2] in North Massapequa, New York, where he graduated from Plainedge High School in 1976[3] (according to some sources, he transferred to New York City's High School of Performing Arts two years before graduating).[4] During high school, he attended a summer program at the Juilliard School where he studied under John Houseman, and he won a role in an off-Broadway production of The Lion in Winter.[3][4] After his high school graduation, he attended the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany for a year. He moved to California to pursue an acting career.[3][4] Guttenberg left for Los Angeles with $300 in his pocket, salami from his mother, and his father's briefcase. As Guttenberg recounts, within weeks he was cast in a Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial playing opposite Colonel Sanders.


Guttenberg's film career has spanned four decades. He has been an actor, director, writer and producer. His production company, "Mr. Kirby Productions", is named after Gerald J. Kirby, his high school drama teacher.[3]

Early films

Guttenberg's first credit was in a TV movie Something for Joey (1977). He had an uncredited bit part in Rollercoaster then played the starring role in the 1977 California high school comedy The Chicken Chronicles. The picture, set in Beverly Hills in the Spring of 1969, was not a big box-office success, but did become a cult classic after extensive showings on premium cable networks in the United States. He also appeared in the 1978 film The Boys From Brazil, based on the Ira Levin best seller, and guest starred on the show Family. Guttenberg starred in the short lived TV series Billy (1979), based on Billy Liar. He had a support role in the tennis romance film Players (1979). In 1980, a Coca-Cola commercial featured him trying to help a non-English-speaking woman whose car stalled. They share a common bond in their love of Coke.

Guttenberg starred in the TV movie To Race the Wind (1980) playing blind lawyer Harold Krents. The same year he starred in the Nancy Walker-directed-Allan Carr produced movie Can't Stop the Music—a semi-autobiographical movie about the disco group Village People. Guttenberg played Jim Craig in another true life-inspired TV movie Miracle on Ice (1981). He had a key role in Barry Levinson's Diner (1982) then starred in another short-lived TV series No Soap, Radio (1982). Guttenberg starred in the action comedy The Man Who Wasn't There (1983) and had a support part in the television movie The Day After (1983). He starred in The Ferret (1984) a pilot for a TV series that was not picked up.

Police Academy, Cocoon and Short Circuit

Guttenberg starred in an enormous hit when he played the lead role in Police Academy (1984). It was quickly followed by Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985). Guttenberg then had the romantic male lead in Cocoon (1985), another box office success. A comedy he starred in, Bad Medicine (1985), was not particularly successful. Guttenberg played Pecos Bill in an episode of Tall Tales & Legends then was in Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986). Guttenberg starred in Short Circuit (1986) opposite Ally Sheedy, another very popular film. He changed pace with the thriller The Bedroom Window (1987), directed by Curtis Hanson, then made Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987), his last Police Academy Film.

Guttenberg had a cameo in Amazon Women on the Moon (1987) and supported Michael Caine and Sally Field in Surrender (1987).

Three Men and a Baby

Guttenberg had the biggest financial success of his career to date with Three Men and a Baby (1987) with Tom Selleck and Ted Danson. He supported Peter O'Toole and Daryl Hannah in High Spirits (1988), which flopped. Cocoon: The Return (1989) was a commercial disappointment as was Don't Tell Her It's Me (1990). 3 Men and a Little Lady (1990) however was a hit. In 1989 he appeared in the Michael Jackson music video "Liberian Girl".[5]


In 1990 he replaced Timothy Hutton in the lead role of Prelude to a Kiss at the Helen Hayes Theatre on Broadway.[6] He also performed in London's West End, where he starred in The Boys Next Door. He appeared in the world stage premiere production of Furthest From the Sun, which Woody Harrelson directed and co-authored.

He directed "Love Off Limits" for CBS Schoolbreak Special in 1993 and starred in The Big Green (1995) in England. He was among the ensemble in Home for the Holidays (1995) and starred in It Takes Two (1995) with Kirstie Alley and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. He also starred in Zeus and Roxanne (1997), Casper: A Spirited Beginning (1997) an alongside Kirsten Dunst in Disney's Tower of Terror (1997), based on the attraction at the Disney's Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. In the late 90s he made some action films, Airborne (1998) and Overdrive (1998) and the comedy Home Team (1998).


His first film as director/producer/co-screenwriter/star was P.S. Your Cat Is Dead (2002), a film adaptation of a novel and Broadway play by James Kirkwood, Jr..[3] He starred in Mojave Phone Booth (2006) as Barry, and Making Change as Trafton. In Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus and its sequel Meet the Santas, he played the starring role of Nick. He had a recurring role on the 2005-2006 season of the television series Veronica Mars as Woody Goodman, a wealthy businessman and community leader. He appeared as a lead in the NBC made-for-TV remake of The Poseidon Adventure, which aired on November 20, 2005, playing Richard Clarke, a failing writer having an affair with a massage therapist. He also appeared in According to Jim episode "Two for the Money" in 2008

On August 25, 2008, Guttenberg released a video entitled "Steve Guttenberg's Steak House"[7] on There are rumors that he will star as comedian Tony Martin in a movie adapted from Martin's book, A Nest of Occasionals.[8] Guttenberg took part in the 2008 spring season of Dancing with the Stars with professional pro Anna Trebunskaya and was eliminated on April 1.[9] During an interview on November 4, 2009, Guttenberg mentioned that Disney was developing a second sequel to Three Men and a Baby, entitled Three Men and a Bride. Guttenberg stated that his co-stars, Ted Danson and Tom Selleck, would return for the sequel.[10] Guttenberg also mentioned how he would like to make another Police Academy and Cocoon movie, saying they are surefire hits if they were to be made.[11]


In an interview published August 1, 2010, Guttenberg revealed that David Diamond and David Weissman were writing a script for Police Academy 8.[12] Eight days later, actor Bobcat Goldthwait released a statement urging Hollywood to reboot the Police Academy series with a new group of actors instead of the original cast members. Goldthwait confirmed that Steve Guttenberg would return and that movie bosses were trying to get Kim Cattrall and Sharon Stone to return for an eighth sequel though Goldthwait said he had no desire to return to the series.[13]

Guttenberg also played himself in an episode of the Starz comedy Party Down that originally aired May 21, 2010. Guttenberg starred in Season 7 Episode 6 of Law&Order:Criminal Intent(air date:11/8/2007) He appeared on Broadway in late 2011 to early 2012 in Woody Allen's one-act play "Honeymoon Hotel" which was part of the show Relatively Speaking.[6] Guttenberg can be seen on History Channel's 2015 Sons of Liberty (miniseries). He plays Jack Bonner. In Fall 2014, Guttenberg wrapped production on SyFy Channel Lavalantula, scheduled to premiere Summer 2015.[14] Guttenberg was also featured in the Season 6, Episode 8 of Community, "Intro to Recycled Cinema", which aired on Yahoo Screen in April 2015.[15]

Guttenberg starred in the Cinderella pantomime at Churchill Theatre in Bromley, England, playing the Baron (father of Cinderella) in 2008.[16] To celebrate Guttenberg's involvement, the local Empire Cinema screened Police Academy on 19 November. Guttenberg introduced the film and answered questions.[17][18] On November 12, Guttenberg appeared as a guest on British Channel 4's The Paul O'Grady Show, he said he made the video for Will Ferrell's Funny or Die website, but then decided to release it virally "as if it were real".[19] As part of challenge set on the show, he then went on to become the Guinness World Record Holder for preparing the most hot-dogs in one minute.[20]


The sixth-annual Fire Island Golden Wagon Film Festival honored Guttenberg with the 2008 Tony Randall Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in the entertainment industry, as well as his community service efforts.[21] The award was created in tribute to the first Golden Wagon honoree, Tony Randall, and is given to a member of the entertainment industry who embodies the same love of Fire Island, independent spirit, and community service that Randall shared.

On December 12, 2011, Guttenberg received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[22] The star is located at 6411 Hollywood Blvd. On October 19, 2014, Guttenberg received a key to the city from Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine for his work with Fun Paw Care, raising awareness for animal rights.[23]


  • The Guttenberg Bible - In this memoir published in May 2012 by Thomas Dunne Books, Steve Guttenberg recounts his first decade in "the business" and speaks in depth about the journey that got him there. He includes both the good and the ugly in a very candid tell-all about, at times, breaking into Hollywood. Steve's witty memoir is organized into the five stages of being an actor: Who is Steve Guttenberg?; I want Steve Guttenberg; I want a Steve Guttenberg type; I want a young Steve Guttenberg; and Who is Steve Guttenberg?
  • The Kids from D.I.S.C.O. (September 2014)


Guttenberg is involved with charities whose goal is to improve opportunities for the homeless and for young people.[24] In 2016, a trust in Guttenberg's honor was established to provide support services to the homeless population of Los Angeles.[25] The Entertainment Industry Foundation, Hollywood's charity arm, selected him to be Ambassador for Children's Issues because of his work on behalf of children and the homeless.[26]

At the 2016 New York Walk to Fight Lymphedema & Lymphatic Diseases in Brooklyn, Guttenberg announced to attendees, via a pre-recorded message, that he had joined the Lymphatic Education & Research Network's (LE&RN's) Honorary Board. Since then, Guttenberg has been active in raising awareness for lymphedema (LE) and lymphatic diseases (LD), which affect an estimated 10 million people in the United States and over 100 million people worldwide.

Personal life

Guttenberg married model Denise Bixler on September 30, 1988.[27] They separated in June 1991 and were divorced in 1992.[28] He has lived with WCBS-TV reporter Emily Smith since 2014;[29] the couple announced their engagement in December 2016.[30]

Select filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1977 Something for Joey Michael Cappelletti Television movie
Rollercoaster Messenger Uncredited
The Chicken Chronicles David Kessler
1978 The Boys from Brazil Barry Kohler
1979 Players Rusty
1980 To Race the Wind Harold Krents Television movie
1980 Can't Stop the Music Jack Moreli
1981 Miracle on Ice Jim Craig Television movie
1982 Diner Edward 'Eddie' Simmons
1983 The Man Who Wasn't There Sam Cooper
The Day After Stephen Klein Television movie
1984 Police Academy Cadet Carey Mahoney
1985 Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment Officer Carey Mahoney
Cocoon Jack Bonner
Bad Medicine Jeff Marx
1986 Police Academy 3: Back in Training Sgt. Carey Mahoney
Short Circuit Newton Crosby
1987 The Bedroom Window Terry Lambert
Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol Sgt. Carey Mahoney
Amazon Women on the Moon Jerry Segment: "Two I.D.s"
Three Men and a Baby Michael Kellam
Surrender Marty
1988 Cocoon: The Return Jack Bonner
High Spirits Jack Crawford
1990 Don't Tell Her It's Me (aka The Boyfriend School) Gus Kubicek
Three Men and a Little Lady Michael Kellam
1995 The Big Green Sheriff Tom Palmer
Home for the Holidays Walter Wedman
It Takes Two Roger Callaway
1997 Zeus and Roxanne Terry Barnett
Casper: A Spirited Beginning Tim Carson Direct-to-video
Tower of Terror Buzzy Crocker
1998 Airborne Bill McNeil
Overdrive Matt Stricker
Home Team Mr. Butler
2002 P.S. Your Cat Is Dead! Jimmy Zoole
2004 Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus Nick Television movie
2005 Meet the Santas Nick
The Poseidon Adventure Richard Clarke Television movie
2006 Mojave Phone Booth Barry
2008 Private Valentine: Blonde & Dangerous Sidney Green
Jackson Businessman
Heidi 4 Paws Sebastian Voice only
2009 Shannon's Rainbow Ed
2010 Ay Lav Yu Christopher
Cornered! Morty
The Gold Retrievers Wade Black
2011 A Novel Romance Nate Shepherd
2012 Making Change Trafton
2013 Quick to Duck Mickey Beans
2014 At the Top of the Pyramid Principal Dickson
Affluenza Philip Miller
Sons of Liberty Jack Bonner Television miniseries
2015 Lavalantula Colton West Television movie
2016 Sharknado: The 4th Awakens Colton West Television movie
2 Lava 2 Lantula Colton West Television movie
2017 Ay Lav Yu Tuu Christopher


Year Title Role Notes
1979 Family Philip Episode - "An Apple for the Teacher"
1979 Billy Billy Fisher Main role (7 episodes)
1982 No Soap, Radio Roger Main role (5 episodes)
1986 Tall Tales & Legends Pecos Bill Episode - "Pecos Bill"
1993 CBS Schoolbreak Special Tom Hardgrove Episode - "Love Off Limits"
2004 Rocket Power Billie Joe Episode - "Island of the Menehune"
2005–06 Veronica Mars Woody Goodman Recurring role (8 episodes)
2007 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Clay Darren Sr. Episode - "Courtship"
2010 Party Down Himself Episode - "Steve Guttenberg's Birthday"
2015 Community Maury Episode - "Intro to Recycled Cinema"
2015 The Mysteries of Laura Himself Episode - "The Mystery of the Deceased Documentarian"
2017 The Other F Word Professor George Mueller Recurring role (2 episodes)
2017 Ballers Wayne Hastings Jr. Recurring role (8 episodes)


  1. ^ Steve Guttenberg Biography (1958-) Film
  2. ^ Aushenker, Michael (January 23, 2003). "P.S., Your Mensch Is Dead—for Now". Jewish Journal. Retrieved October 13, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Fischler, Marcelle S. (January 19, 2003). "A Cheese Slice and a Dose of South Shore". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ a b c Carlson, Timothy (May 19, 1979). "Show Biz". Youngstown Vindicator. 
  5. ^ "Liberian Girl - Michael Jackson". Vevo. Archived from the original on December 2, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Zeitchik, Steven (October 16, 2011). "Steve Guttenberg is back in the majors". Los Angeles Times. 
  7. ^ Steve Guttenberg's Steak House
  8. ^[dead link]
  9. ^ "Steve Guttenberg Eliminated From 'Dancing With The Stars'". Access Hollywood. April 2, 2008. Retrieved October 13, 2011. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Guttenberg, Danson, Selleck Walking Down the Aisle for 'Three Men and a Bride'?". Moviefone. November 4, 2009. Retrieved October 13, 2011. 
  12. ^ Gencarelli, Mike (August 1, 2010). "Interview with Steve Guttenberg". Movie Mikes. Retrieved August 7, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Bobcat Goldthwait Wants A New 'Police Academy' Cast". August 9, 2010. Retrieved October 13, 2011. 
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ Gee, Alastair (December 15, 2008). "Steve Guttenberg: from Hollywood to panto in Kent". The Times. TimesOnline. Retrieved October 13, 2011. 
  17. ^ Mullins, Scott (November 21, 2008). "Steve Guttenberg faced fans questions at a Police Academy screening at The Empire, Bromley". Archived from the original on August 28, 2012. Retrieved October 13, 2011. 
  18. ^ Eustice, Kerry Ann (November 21, 2008). "Actor Steve Guttenberg talks about starring in panto at The Churchill, Bromley". Retrieved October 13, 2011. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Steve Guttenberg Wins World Record, Spills Beans On Naked Jogging". VH1. November 12, 2008. Retrieved October 13, 2011. 
  21. ^ Timothy Bolger (August 6, 2008). "6th Annual Golden Wagon Film Festival Rocks OB". EDGE Media Network. 
  22. ^ "Steve Guttenberg gets star on Hollywood Walk of Fame". The Washington Post. December 12, 2011. 
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Private Citizens Aid Los Angeles Homeless Population". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 25, 2016. 
  26. ^ "Steve Guttenberg Charity Work, Events and Causes". Look to the Stars. Retrieved October 13, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Steve Guttenberg Weds". Rome News-Tribune. October 4, 1988. 
  28. ^ "Guttenberg seeks divorce from model". Chicago Sun-Times. January 17, 1992. 
  29. ^ Kaufman, Joanne (August 19, 2016). "Steve Guttenberg's Little Home in the Sky". The New York Times. Retrieved August 23, 2016. 
  30. ^

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