American actor, singer and producer Al Corley soared to prominence in early 1980s as Steven Carrington in the popular ABC television series “Dynasty,” a role he played during the first two seasons between 1981 and 1982. He was replaced by Jack Coleman in the role. Later when Coleman was not available due to scheduling conflict, Corley reprised the role for the 1991 reunion TV film, “Dynasty: The Reunion.” Corley gained further notice as a singer in the 1980s that resulted in three studio albums and several singles. His New Wave single “Square Rooms” (1984) was a No. 1 hit in France. Although he continues to act today, Corley has shifted focus to producing since early 1990s. His producing credits include “In the Flesh” (1995), “Drowning Mona” (2000), “Cowboy Up” (2001), “Noel” (2004), “You Kill Me” (2007), “Stolen” (2009) and “Kill the Irishman” (2011).
Corley has three children with his wife Jessika Cardinahl.
Childhood and Family:
Al Corley was born Alford Corley on May 22, 1956, in Wichita, Kansas. He was married to German born actress and painter Jessika Cardinahl (born 1965) in 1989. The couple have three children: Sophie Elena, Ruby Cardinahl and Clyde Nikolai Corley.
Corley currently lives in the Pacific Palisades.
Before he entered the entertainment industry, Al Corley worked as a doorman at Studio 54 in the late 1970s. His acting career started in 1979 with a small part in the CBS television film “ Women at West Point,” starring Linda Purl, Leslie Ackerman and Jameson Parker. He soon followed it up with a significant role as Franklin Kramer in the NBC telepic “ And Baby Makes Six” (1979), opposite Colleen Dewhurst, Warren Oates and Maggie Cooper, and a supporting turn as Jack Peters in “ABC Afterschool Specials” episode titled, “The Late Great Me! Story of a Teenage Alcoholic” (1979), with Maia Danziger, Charlie Lang and Kaiulani Lee. Also in that same year, he made his motion picture debut in the comedy “Squeeze Play,” which was directed by Lloyd Kaufman, written by Charles Kaufman and Haim Pekelis and starred Jim Harris, Jennifer Hetrick and Rick Gitlin. There he played Buddy.
Corley was cast as Tad Ford in the 1980 TV film “The Women's Room,” starring Lee Remick, Colleen Dewhurst and Patty Duke, appeared as Walter Henson in an episode of “The Love Boat” (1981) and had a featured role in the John Schlesinger film “Honky Tonk Freeway” (1981) before scoring a big breakthrough in the prime time ABC soap opera “Dynasty,” created by Richard & Esther Shapiro. He became the first actor to play Steven Carrington when the show debuted on January 12, 1981 and remained there until the end of the second season in 1982. In 1983, the character was recast with Jack Coleman and the change in appearance was attributed to plastic surgery after an oil rig explosion.
After leaving “Dynasty,” Corley landed a two episode role in the short lived NBC drama series “Bare Essence” (1983), as Chase Marshall, and returned to the big screen with an important part in the Thomas J. Wright directed drama “Torchlight” (1985), opposite Pamela Sue Martin, Steve Railsback and Ian McShane. The remaining of the decade saw roles in the films “Alpha City” (1985, directed and written by Eckhart Schmidt), “Incident at Channel Q” (1986, with Joe Janus and David Dreisin) and “Hard Days, Hard Nights” (1989, starred as Chris).
Corley also branched out to music with the release of his debut album, “Square Rooms,” through Mercury Records in 1984. Produced by Harold Faltermeyer, the title track reached the top of the single chart in France in 1985 and also enjoyed strong chart success in other European countries such as Italy (##12), Switzerland (#6), Germany (#13) and Austria (#15). In the US, the single peaked at No. 80. His next single, “Cold Dress,” was another big hit in France, where it peaked at No. 5. Corley released his second album, “Riot Of Color,” in 1986 and his third album, “The Big Picture” followed in 1988. He co-wrote several songs in “The Big Picture” with Joey Balin, including “Land of the Giants,” “Tell me,” “Floating Now,” “Real life”(also with Sammy Merendino), and “My o my.”
Back to acting, Corley reprised his role of Steven Carrington for the 1991 TV movie “Dynasty: The Reunion,” when Coleman was unavailable because of scheduling conflicts. In the following year, he appeared with wife Jessika Cardinahl in the German movie “Otto - Der Liebesfilm” and played the role of Michael Landesmann in the German television film “Hamburger Gift.” Two years later, he co-starred with Chasey Clifford and Brett Cullen in the thriller TV film “A Kiss Goodnight” and was featured in the Jeremy Leven film “Don Juan DeMarco,” starring Johnny Depp, Marlon Brando and Faye Dunaway.
It was also in 1994 that Corley made his producing debut with the German TV documentary “Last Dance” (“Letzter Tanz”), which he also directed. He subsequently took his acting career on the back burner to focus on producing. Corley next produced movies like “In the Flesh” (1995), a German production directed by Nikolai Müllerschön, “A Brother's Kiss” (1997, co-producer), “Palmetto” (1998, executive producer), a German/American crime/drama directed by Volker Schlöndorff and starring Woody Harrelson, Elisabeth Shue and Gina Gershon, and “Drowning Mona” (2000), an American crime film helmed by Nick Gomez and starring Danny DeVito, Bette Midler and Neve Campbell.
In 2001, Corley produced the Western movie “Cowboy Up,” which was directed by Xavier Koller and starred Kiefer Sutherland, Marcus Thomas and Daryl Hannah. He also played the role of Dr. Fremont in the film, marking his comeback after seven years hiatus. Corley next produced the Gavin Grazer comedy film “Scorched” (2001, also acted), Chazz Palminteri's “Noel” (2004), Stuart Gordon's “Edmond” (2005, starred William H. Macy), Mike Mendez's “The Gravedancers” (2006), Scott Glosserman's “Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon” (2006), John Dahl's “You Kill Me” (2007, also acted), Anders Anderson's “Stolen” (2009, also acted), Nikolai Müllerschön's “Subject 15” (2010) and Jonathan Hensleigh's “Kill the Irishman” (2011, also acted).