April 25th, 2008

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

Len Lesser on the beginning of his acting career

After his service in World War II, Len Lesser pursued the craft of acting, thanks to his old friend, Lee Marvin. Lesser now has worked steadily for 65 years with a resume that includes 500 television shows, over 50 movies and 100 plays.

While performing in summer stock and road shows in the late forties, Lesser began work in the new medium called television. This was before television had a union and Lesser performed for the Columbia Broadcasting System in such classic shows as "Suspense."

According to Lesser,
"I have always been busy as an actor. I am fortunate, to make a living and raise a family."

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

Clint Eastwood spat on Len Lesser

Len Lesser costarred with Clint Eastwood in two movies; "Kelly's Heroes" and "The Outlaw Josey Wales," which Eastwood also directed."

"I knew then he was going to be a great director, just by the words he used...he was quiet and a vegetarian, a health food nut. Being in Northern California, a crew wants steak and potatoes. I found him a health food store, "Full of Life."

After he kills Abe, there is a memorable scene in which Josey Wales says; "Well, the buzzards need to eat." Wales then spits tobacco juice on poor Abe's forehead.

Lesser recalled that;

"Funny. The scene was done with a squid, a water pistol. It was cold as hell. They did it four or five times, but I kept blinking. I finally suggested that I keep my eyes open and we got the shot."

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

Len Lesser on Stage

Besides his recent stage performance with "Two and 1/2 Jews," Len Lesser has impressive stage credentials. Lesser was in "King John" and portrayed the tortured but ultimately heroic MacDuff in "MacBeth" Lessor spoke affectionately to performing in Arthur Miller's "The Price,"

"I loved it. I loved the role. Good material and I love to do good material.!"

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

Len Lesser and Lon

Len Lesser was on several episodes of "The Monkees." He liked doing the is television show because it was close to his house in Burbank.

In the episode "The Monkees in a Ghost Town," Len Lesser was teamed with Lon Chaney Jr.
Lesser and Chaney portrayed two gangsters, George and Lennie, respectfully. Like most people who are familiar with Chaney's background before "The Wolf Man," Chaney earned his Thespian points for his portrayal as Lennie Small in John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men."

Taking a cue from this classic, Len's character treated Lon's character like
"a moron."

After two days, the director asked Len, "Why are you treating Lennie as such a moron?"
Len replied to the director, "I thought he was a moron!" Apparently, the director did not make the connection between "Of Mice and Men" with George and Lennie.

When asked about working with Lon Chaney Junior, Len Lesser found the actor to be;
"Quiet and nice. He did the job and we had a nice exchange."