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Dan Hedaya

Actor known for The Addams Family

Actor known for The Addams Family

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Dan Hedaya Biography

Born on July 24, 1940 in Brooklyn, NY, Dan Hedaya was raised in a large family headed by his immigrant father, who came to America after emigrating from Aleppo, Syria. He first came into contact with performing on stage while studying literature at Tufts University, from which he earned his bachelor's degree in 1962. Though he made his stage debut in a college production of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible," Hedaya turned to teaching English and math at a junior high school in New York City to make ends meet. But the pull of performing proved too great and Hedaya left his teaching position to pursue acting fulltime with a return to the stage in a 1973 production of "Macbeth." He went on to accumulate substantial theater experience with the New York Shakespeare Festival while making his feature debut in "The Passover Plot" (1976), an Israeli-made biblical thriller. After sharing the stage with Al Pacino in "The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel" (1977), Hedaya made his U.S. film debut in the political drama "The Seduction of Joe Tynan" (1979), which starred Alan Alda, Barbara Harris and Meryl Streep.

Following supporting roles opposite Robert De Niro in "True Confessions" (1981) and Jill Clayburgh in "I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can" (1982), Hedaya had a rare leading role as the jealous and violent husband of a woman (Frances McDormand) he suspects is having an affair with an employee (John Getz), leading him to hire a private detective (M. Emmet Walsh) to kill both in Joel and Ethan Coen's feature debut, "Blood Simple" (1984). Turning to television, Hedaya began a recurring stint on the famed sitcom "Cheers" (NBC, 1982-1993) as Nick Tortelli, the sleazy ex-husband of barmaid Carla (Rhea Perlman), who infrequently popped into the bar to use his unusual charms to manipulate her. The character proved popular enough to spawn a spin-off called "The Tortellis" (NBC, 1987), but the show failed to connect with audiences and was canceled after only 13 episodes. Meanwhile, he continued appearing in features, often playing cops in movies like "Tightrope" (1984) and "Running Scared" (1986), while also turning up as a deposed dictator in the Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick "Commando" (1985). After episodes of the sitcom "One of the Boys" (NBC, 1989) and the hit drama "L.A. Law" (NBC, 1986-1994), he was the dour and demanding boss of a perpetually sick man (Tom Hanks) in the cult classic "Joe Versus the Volcano" (1990).

Hedaya continued to work steadily on television and in film with roles as the lawyer to Gomez Addams (Raul Julia) in "The Addams Family" (1991) and the tournament director in "Searching for Bobby Fischer" (1993). Episodes of the anthologized noir series "Fallen Angels" (Showtime, 1993-95) and the long-running "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990-2010) were coupled with feature roles like Twitchy the River Boat Player in the Western "Maverick" (1994) and the protective litigator father of the sweet but superficial Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) in the comedy "Clueless" (1995). Hedaya also showed up as a doubtful police detective who lets a Customs agent (Chazz Palminteri) interview a small-time con man (Kevin Spacey), only one of two survivors of a botched drug deal turned massacre in "The Usual Suspects" (1995). Following several high-profile turns in "To Die For" (1995) and "Nixon" (1995), he took smaller parts in "Daylight" (1996) and "Ransom" (1996). Meanwhile, he was the ex-husband of Bette Midler in "The First Wives Club" (1996) and the brother of Robert De Niro in "Marvin's Room" (1996), before playing a general who supervises the cloning of Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) in "Alien Resurrection" (1997), and the angel Gabriel in the quirky black comedy "A Life Less Ordinary" (1997).

Following a supporting turn as the wealthy father of two Yemenite goofballs (Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan) in the failed comedy "A Night at the Roxbury" (1998), Hedaya earned critical acclaim as a corrupt police detective who frames middleweight boxer Rubin Carter (Denzel Washington) for murder in "The Hurricane" (1999). He next played "Tricky Dick" Nixon himself in the comedy "Dick" (1999), before starring opposite Samuel L. Jackson in director John Singleton's remake of "Shaft" (2000). More episodes of shows like "Judging Amy" (CBS, 1999-2005), "Yes, Dear" (CBS, 2000-06) and "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009) followed, while he appeared as one of the Castigliani Brothers in David Lynch's bizarre drama "Mulholland Drive" (2001). He next played a swim coach in the predictable teen thriller "Swimfan" (2002) and voiced the mean-spirited Mr. Grunk in the animated "Robots" (2005). Continuing to rack up credits, Hedaya turned up as the long-lost father of the titular "Monk" (USA Network, 2002-09) before playing the remarried father of a self-described "junkie whore" (Amy Sedaris) in the cult comedy "Strangers With Candy" (2006). Hedaya's typically consistent output slowed down later in the decade, though he was Father Frank in the short-lived "Book of Daniel" (NBC, 2006) while appearing in an episode of "Lipstick Jungle" (NBC, 2007-08). After a minor role in the independent comedy "The Extra Man" (2010), Hedaya portrayed Congressman Barney Frank in "Too Big to Fail" (HBO, 2011), the acclaimed cable movie that depicted the people and events of the 2008 financial meltdown that brought the global economy to its knees.

Dan Hedaya Videos

  • Dan Hedaya Honored with Pomegranate Lifetime Achievement ...

FAQs on booking Dan Hedaya

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  • What are the speaker fees for Dan Hedaya

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  • What topics does Dan Hedaya speak about?

    Dan Hedaya is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Actors, Entertainers, Entertainment, Faith & Religion, Jewish Speakers, Television Personalities, Television Stars.
  • Where does Dan Hedaya travel from?

    Dan Hedaya generally travels from an undisclosed location, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
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    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Dan Hedaya for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Dan Hedaya for your next private or corporate function.
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    AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Dan Hedaya or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.
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    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.

Dan Hedaya is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Dan Hedaya for your event is available upon request. Dan Hedaya generally travels from and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Wallace Shawn, Alicia Silverstone, Liev Schreiber, Evan Handler and Jeff Goldblum. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Dan Hedaya for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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