Fisher Stevens* achieved recognition on the Broadway stage before reaching the age of twenty. He made his Broadway debut in 1981 (age 18) as David in Torch Song Trology. He then took over the starring role of Eugene from Matthew Broaderick in Neil Simons' Brighton Beach Memoirs while appearing as a regular in the role of Henry Popkin in ABC's daytime serial Ryan's Hope. (Some sources indicate it was Guiding Light instead, but most go with Ryan's Hope.)
Born in Chicago on November 27, 1963, Fisher
grew up in Highland Park, where his first real ambition in life was to be a professional
athlete. Famed Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens was a neighbor in his apartment building
and young Fisher idolized him.
|These athletic aspirations
remained with him up until the age of 12 when he and his mother moved - first briefly to
Evanston, IL, then on to a Greenwich Village loft in New York - and discovered his
physical development didn't quite keep pace with his ambitious plans. Fisher's mother, an
aspiring painter, rented their loft to an acting school two years later, and the short,
slender youth soon found a new love in acting.
Fisher began his acting training at age 13 and eventually went on to study with instructors Dan Fauci and Uta Hagen. When auditions failed to turn up any major parts, he redoubled his efforts in class and soon landed roles in some off-off Broadway productions.
At age 14, Fisher was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease, but overcame it with the help of doctors at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. (In 1991, doctors told Fisher that he had developed thyroid cancer -- fortunately, the doctors discovered that he had been misdiagnosed and was cancer-free.)
Fisher made his film debut at age sixteen in The Burning, a Filmways Production. "It was fun to do, but never again," he said. "All of us were slaughtered. It was a gory film and I had my hands cut off. But I got paid for it, got my SAG card and changed my name from Steven Fisher to Fisher Stevens." Two years later he was back before the camera in bit parts for John Sayles' Baby, It's You, followed by Sayles' The Brother From Another Planet.
During his Brighton Beach Memoirs
Broadway role, he took a brief leave to co-star with Matt Dillon in the 20th Century Fox
comedy The Flamingo Kid. Prior to his Broadway success, he appeared in a dozen
showcase productions off-off Broadway including Primary Returns/Plain Brown Wrapper
- two plays by Keith Reddin at the 18th Street Playhouse, Geography of a Horse Dreamer
at the Ensemble Studio Theater, Barry Keating's Starmites at the Ark Theatre, and
as Jo in the staged reading of Details Without a Map with Ellen Burstyn.
|Fisher continued his stage career in the Off Broadway productions of
Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night's Dream at NYSF, Little Murders
at Second Stage, Miami at Playwrights Horizons, Out of Gas at Lover's Leap
at WPA, and in L.A. he was in Veins and Thumbtacks and Tim Robbins' Violence.
On Broadway, Fisher appeared in Brighton Beach Memoirs, A Perfect Ganesh (where he played 18 characters), and in the 1994 Lincoln Center revival production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel, where Fisher portrayed Jigger Craigin.
By the way, if you want to hear Fisher sing, the 1994 Broadway Cast Recording of Carousel is available for purchase at Amazon.com (last time I checked, anyway -- click on the picture to the right to see for yourself). Blow hiiiiigh, blow looooow.... Oops, sorry -- got carried away by the music there for a minute. Continuing:
Fisher continued to work on films and in television, and has an impressive list of screen credits to his name. He is probably most remembered for and most unrecognizable in his role as Johnny Five's creator, Ben, in both Short Circuit and Short Circuit 2, and for his role as the nefarious Eugene Belford, a.k.a. "The Plague" in the cult classic cyberfilm, Hackers. Among his numerous other roles, Fisher portrayed a cross-dresser in the Showtime film The Right to Remain Silent, a vengeful deliveryman in Mystery Date, and an alter-universe dinosaur-descendant in Super Mario Bros. - the film based on the popular Nintendo video game.
Among Fisher's television roles, he has appeared as Phoebe's "intense and creepy" psychologist boyfriend Roger in Friends, as a witness to murder in Homicide: Life on the Streets, and as a murderous film director in the made-for-tv Columbo movie, Columbo: Murder, Smoke & Shadows. Fisher had the starring role in the short-lived Fox Television series, Key West. But his most notable television role to date has been as Chuck Fishman, the often sarcastic and sometimes superficial best friend of Gary Hobson (Kyle Chandler) on the CBS television series, Early Edition. Fisher portrayed Chuck Fishman for the first two seasons of Early Edition, after which his character left Chicago to find his fortune in California. Fisher himself, however, headed back to New York, where he continues to work on films, and on his real love - directing. Fisher made his television directorial debut with Early Edition episode #218 "The Quality of Mercy." During Early Edition's third season, Fisher returned to guest star in one episode (#307, "Up Chuck") and to direct another (#312, "Slippity-Doo-Dah").
In 1986 Fisher and actress Lili Taylor co-founded "Naked Angels Theatre Company," a New York-based ensemble company that specializes in prestigious avant-garde productions. Fisher has been involved with the non-profit organization, "Artists to End Hunger." Fisher is also a founding partner in GreeneStreet Films, a film and television production company based in New York City that is dedicated to producing quality, independent feature films and television programming.
*Information for this biography was gathered from a variety of sources, and is correct to the best of my knowledge. If any corrections do need to be made, please let me know.
Disclaimer: Nothing in this site is meant to infringe on anyone's rights in any way. This is a fan-created, non-commercial site, developed with respect, and intended only to support and generate further interest in Fisher Stevens and the projects he is, has been,or will be involved with. No profits are made by the owner of this site. The information contained within this website is as accurate as possible. If you have any new or updated information, or you'd like to contribute something to these pages, let me know.
This page last messed with on: April 29, 2003
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