Monday, March 29, 2010

The Magic that is Joel Brooks

There are not too many actors with a resume quite like that of Joel Brooks. Beginning in the 70's on Ryan's Hope and Three's Company. Working steadily through the 80's on Mash, Dallas, Soap, Taxi, Alice, The Facts of Life and of course My Sister Sam. Sailed through the 90's in Good Grief with Michael Keaton, L.A Law, Lois & Clark, Ally McBeal, Beverly Hills 90210 and into the 2000's in Six Feet Under, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Closer, The Big Bang Theory and most recently on The Mentalist. Quite a list, well that is just the beginning those shows were some of the most familiar, but they only scratch the surface of this talented mans career. Check out Joel's IMDB page for the full list.

Below: Joel with Pam Dawber and the cast of 'My Sister Sam'

I think I first discovered the magic of Joel Brooks in about 1984 or 1985. I was 9 or 10 and remember seeing Joel as Charlotte Rae's son on an episode of 'The Facts Of Life'. I remember thinking there was something special about this guy from the second he appeared on screen. From then on, each week I looked for him in tv and movies. This was pre the Internet, and I am not sure if you all remember, but back then you used to have to closely read the tv guide and look for actors that you liked. TV guide used to list guest stars for tv shows. Joel was frequently on that list.

Below: Joel in 'Dallas' 1981.

Two Things over the past month had me thinking again about Joel. Firstly I watched and posted about 'Circuit' not to long ago. Joel had a small role in the flick. In addition I have written a bit about my admiration for the acting talent of Beth Maitland. I recently listened to a radio interview on Brandon's Buzz (great radio show btw if your a tv fan) with both Beth and Joel. Joel and Beth have begun a company called Auditions LA. Auditions LA's focus is assisting and teaching young actors on how to be successful in auditions. You can check out that interview HERE:

Below: Joel and 'Auditions' partner Beth Maitland.

Below: Joel and Loretta Swit from Mash

Joel's biography on Auditions LA says:

'Joel Brooks got his training in the New York theatre. He studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and with Uta Hagen and went on to work at Playwrites Horizons, New York Shakespeare Festival, and The Eugene O’Neill Theatre Festival among many other venues.'

It goes on to again list Joel's many tv appearances. What it does not say, or what I have yet to read is the acclaim this man so richly deserves. Joel to my knowledge has not won an Emmy, but hopefully that will be an oversight corrected soon. Joel is not just a character actor, Joel Brooks is one of this countries finest character actors, playing a diverse array of roles for close to 5 decades. If Wikipedia had just one face to put by Character actor, it should be that of Joel Brooks. You can learn a bit more about this great man at his official website HERE:

Joel Brooks: An Actor I Love.

Below: Joel with Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O'Neal.


Anonymous said...

Great choice Tye, love Joel

Anonymous said...

I love Joel Brooks.