Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Straight, But Not Narrow... Happy Birthday To Rob Reiner

On a Seattle summer day in 1992, I lived through my 3rd call back for the role of Jay in the film- Sleepless In Seattle. I began to have that feeling that I always fought in my acting days, I wanted the part. Really wanted the part, I could taste it. By the 3rd callback I was dizzy with the possibility. Jay was a small, but showy role & very funny. I had been able to keep Writer/Director Nora Ephron, the casting director & assorted producer s laughing with each read. Leaving callback #3, I found myself passing Rob Reiner in a hallway & after I tossed an “I love your work” to Reiner, I thought to myself: “I really admire Rob Reiner. I wonder what his connection is with Sleepless? Hmmm… he would be so cool to chat with. Maybe he will notice me as Jay & use me in something!”

My agent, Carol, called me with the news that Rob Reiner was going to be playing Jay in the film.

I didn’t much like Sleepless In Seattle years later, viewed on VHS, on a boat floating on Lake Union not far from the films' location. Not being charmed by the film had little to do with my not being cast (how was I supposed to compete against Rob Reiner?), but I found it treacly & I felt that the filmmakers got Seattle all wrong. Maybe I should watch it again.

Reiner is an admirable man. He created an iconic TV character- Michael "Meathead" Stivic, son-in-law of Archie & Edith Bunker, on All In The Family. He won 2 Emmys for the role.  His list of films as a director &/or writer: This Is Spinal Tap, The Sure Thing, Stand By Me, The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally, Misery, A Few Good Men, Throw Mama From The Train.

Reiner is one of the founders of the American Foundation For Equal Rights, which formed to challenge Proposition 8 in the courts.

This past Saturday, the star-studded West Coast premiere of 8, a play about the 2010 federal court fight against Proposition 8, the gay-marriage ban that California voters approved in 2008, held at the Wilshire Theatre in LA, the show was streamed on the Internet. The piece was written by Oscar winner Dustin Lance Bass & starred Martin Sheen, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Jane Lynch, Kevin Bacon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Christine Lahti, George Takei, John C. Reilly, Chris Colfer, Matthew Morrison & Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Directed by my nemesis Rob Reiner, it raised more than $2 million for marriage equality.

Quite a guy, Rob Reiner. He is one Daddy Bear of a Left Coast Liberal Elitist! Here's wishing him the best & a thank you on today, his 65th birthday


  1. OK, I'll think good thoughts for Rob Reiner (whose work I love and whom I respect and admire) on his birthday even though he stole the part out from under you. I like the movie Sleepless in Seattle but have always felt it lacked something. Now I know what it is!

  2. Rob Reiner has a huge body of work behind him, so it's not a huge surprise that small parts would be simple for him to get. I also watched 8 three times in the last week. It's just too good watching Jane Lynch and John C. Reilly. They just do such an incredible job.


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