People

Paul Kent’s biography, net worth, fact, career, awards and life story

IntroAmerican actor
Was Actor 
Television actor 
From United States of America 
Type Film, TV, Stage & Radio 
Gendermale
Birth 13 October 1930, Brooklyn, USA
Death 7 October 2011, Hollywood Hills, USA
(aged 81 years)
Star sign Libra

Paul Kent (October 13, 1930 – October 7, 2011) was an American actor and the founder/artistic director of the Melrose Theatre in West Hollywood.

Biography

Early life

Kent was born as Paul Inglese on October 13, 1930 in Brooklyn, New York. He studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse and briefly served in the United States Army during the Korean War. In 1958, he and his parents moved from New York to California, where he trained under Sanford Meisner and later assisted Meisner with his classes. The two became close friends and colleagues during Meisner’s life, and when Meisner left Los Angeles to go back to New York, he left his teaching methods to be carried on in the West by Kent who consequently taught acting for many years through his theater.

Kent played a part in the formation of Lucille Ball’s Desilu Workshop, where he became the first acting student signed by the workshop. According to Hedda Hopper, when Kent appeared at the workshop to help a female friend at an audition, he was discovered by Ball and promptly signed to an actor-stage manager contract. Kent’s acting roles during this period included a small part in an episode of December Bride in 1957.

Acting instruction

In 1964, Kent founded the Melrose Theater in West Hollywood with the assistance of fellow actors including Tom Troupe, Carole Cook, Richard Bull and Don Eitner. Funds for the theater were partially raised by a guest appearance with Lucille Ball and Gary Morton on Password.

Kent later recalled in an interview with The Los Angeles Times:

I was scared to death. I wasn’t working steadily, I didn’t know where the next rent would come from, and I had no experience in building a theater…I bought seats from a defunct movie house on Washington Boulevard. I’ll never forget. Two dollars a seat. Linden Chiles and the students and I literally unbolted the seats from the floor and brought them back here.

In 1976, Kent entered into a partnership with workshop organizer Jomarie Ward to purchase a former bakery and photographer’s studio at 733 North Seward Street in Hollywood. With the assistance of Ward and members of the workshop, the building was renovated and converted to the new Melrose Theater in 1977. The new, larger theater became the permanent headquarters of the Melrose, with Kent installed as artistic director and Ward as managing director.

In 1984, Kent decided to create a production employing the largest possible number of Melrose actors, and convened several playwrights at the Mark Taper Forum to write a play in a bar setting to be produced by the theater. The resulting collaboration, The Bar Off Melrose, was credited to fifteen playwrights and employed nearly forty actors. The play premiered successfully in 1986, and is still performed today at various theaters, drama workshops and colleges.

Acting career

While serving as artistic director of the Melrose Theater, Kent also acted in many of its plays, and continued acting in film and television. One of Kent’s acting appearances in the 1970s was a small part in the television miniseries Helter Skelter. The part was notable because Kent later played a different character in the 2004 adaptation directed by John Gray. Gray later bought Kent back to play a spirit in an episode of his TV series, Ghost Whisperer (“Mended Hearts”). In addition, Kent often played different characters in multiple episodes of a series, including his appearances in Lou Grant, T. J. Hooker and Falcon Crest.

In 1987 Kent played Harry M. Daugherty in a made-for-TV biographical film of J. Edgar Hoover, produced by Showtime. In 1999, he became the third actor to play the character of “Doctor Noel Clinton” in Port Charles, a spinoff of General Hospital, succeeding actors Dean Harens and Ron Husmann. He had a lead starring role as the character of “Miles Mason” in Viagra Falls, a television pilot. One of his final acting roles was his portrayal of Mack Sennett in Return to Babylon, an independent film released in 2013.

In 1975, Kent reflected on his craft to Los Angeles Times reporter Lawrence Christon:

Acting is my sanity, the thing I run to when things go wrong in my life. My special joy is rehearsing, making discoveries about the ins and outs of character. I love it so much that the actual performance, to me, is like the cigarette after the affair.

Personal life

Kent was the father of several children. At the time of his death he was married to actress and author Madelyn Cain.

Death

Kent died on October 7, 2011, six days before his 81st birthday, in Hollywood Hills, California from multiple myeloma. He was buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills.

Partial filmography

Film

TitleCharacterYearNotes
DianeGroom1956Uncredited
SecondsParty Guest1966Uncredited
The Astronaut (TV)Carl Samuels1972
Family Flight (TV)First Controller1972
The Mad BomberDr. Devincy1973
The Alpha Caper (TV)John Woodbury1973
Pray for the Wildcats (TV)Doctor Harris1974
Helter Skelter (TV)Dennis Ranson1976
LifeguardJack Gilmore1976
RubyLouie1977
Star Trek II: The Wrath of KhanCommander Beach1982
PerfectJudge1985
J. Edgar Hoover (TV) Harry M. Daugherty1987
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream WarriorsDoctor Carver1987
Programmed to KillCarlson1987
Double RevengeJudge1988
The Jigsaw MurdersCaptain Matt Ludwig1989
The Road HomeCoach Dale2003
Helter Skelter (TV)Van Nuys Judge2004
Return to BabylonMack Sennett2013(final film role)

Television

TitleEpisode(s)Character(s)Year(s)
My Three SonsBub’s ButlerAnnouncer1963
The Outer LimitsThe Man With The PowerDetective1963
Mission: ImpossibleElenaFrederico (Uncredited)1966
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.The Master’s Touch AffairValandros’s Aide1967
Hawaii Five-OStrangers In Our Own LandDavid Milner1968
BonanzaThe Night Virginia City DiedDoctor Martin1970
The Six Million Dollar ManThe Rescue of Athena OneFlight Surgeon Wolf1974
Starsky and HutchThe PlagueLieutenant Anderson1977
Three’s CompanyJack Moves Out/Professor JackAlvin Morrell/Doctor Anderson1979/1981
Diff’rent StrokesSmall Claims Court/FireJudge Roscoe C. Briggs/Chief Scott1980/1982
The Dukes of HazzardCletus Falls In LoveMister Hodges1981
Doogie Howser, M.D.DoogensteinPhilip Leonetti1990
CoachVegas OddsMister Burrows1993
FrasierBurying a GrudgeDoctor Sternstein1994
High IncidentKnock KnockSteven Carlisle1997
The PracticeTrial And ErrorJudge Skully (Uncredited)1997
Boy Meets WorldThe HoneymoonersTourist #11999
The West WingInauguration, Part ICardinal Patrick2003
ERGet CarterMister Morgan2004
Ghost WhispererMended HeartsPatient2005