“I first decided I wanted to be an artist when I was 7 or 8. I won a citywide contest and then later I won the high school division of the South Plains Fair at Lubbock Coronado.” Harry Hamlin
American television and film actor Harry Hamlin became a household name while portraying the brooding, yet adoring, lawyer Michael Kuzak on the award-winning drama series “L.A. Law” (NBC, 1986-1991), in which he picked up three Golden Globe nominations. He also played recurring roles on the sitcom “Ink” (CBS, 1997) and the series “Veronica Mars” (UPN, 2004-2006), as well as a regular role on “Movie Stars” (The WB, 1999-2000). Hamlin again gained notice last year by joining the contestants in the popular show “Dancing with the Stars,” along with his wife Lisa Rinna.
On the big screen, Hamlin received his breakthrough as Perseus on the highly successful movie Clash of the Titans (1981). He attempted to revive his movie career after his role on “L.A. Law” ended, but so far he has only starred in B-rated and direct-to-video movies. Recently, Hamlin had a bit part in the comedy Strange Wilderness (2007).
Three-times Golden Globe nominee Hamlin is also a trained stage actor. He co-founded the L.A. Classic Theatre, with Amy Irving, John Lithgow and others, and has acted in numerous plays, including “Awake and Sing” (1984) and “Summer and Smoke” (1996).
Hamlin has been married three times. He was first married to actress Laura Johnson from 1985 to 1989 and then to primetime TV soap vixen Nicollette Sheridan, from 1991 and 1993. He is now the husband of actress and television host Lisa Rinna. The well-matched pair have two daughters. His love life has also been linked to original Bond Girl, Ursula Andress, with whom he lived with from 1978 to 1982. The couple had a son in 1980.
Childhood and Family:
Harry Robinson Hamlin was born on October 30, 1951, in Pasadena, California, to Chauncey Jerome Hamlin Jr., who once worked with Wernher von Braun, and Bernice Hamlin. He attended The Hill School, a famed boarding school in Pennsylvania. While there, he played soccer and lacrosse and took part in several musicals and plays. He returned to California to study at the University of California, in Berkley, where he was a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity.
On March 9, 1985, Harry married actress Laura Johnson, but they divorced after four years. He tried to build a new family by marrying actress Nicollette Sheridan on September 7, 1991. Unfortunately, that bond ended in divorce in 1993. Harry married present wife Lisa Rinna on March 29, 1997. The couple has two daughters, Delilah Belle Hamlin (born on June 10, 1998) and Amelia Gray Hamlin (born on June 13, 2001). Harry also has a son named Dimitri Alexandre Hamlin (born on May 19, 1980), with his ex-girlfriend, Swiss actress Ursula Andress.
Clash of the Titans
Harry Hamlin got his start on television by playing Mariamo on the comedy The Taming of the Shrew (1976), directed by Kirk Browning, and made his feature acting debut two years later in Stanley Donen’s Movie, Movie, which starred Oscar-winning actor George C. Scott. He returned to the small screen with a starring role in the NBC miniseries “Studs Lonigan” (1979), adapted from the James T Farrell trilogy.
Hamlin’s movie career began to take off after he won the role of Perseus in the 1981 Greek mythology epic Clash of the Titans, starring opposite Maggie Smith and legendary actor Laurence Olivier. The movie was a success and led to a number of offers. Sadly, the actor made wrong choices and his career weakened somewhat with such box office failures as Arthur Hiller’s Making Love (1982). Still in 1982, the actor found himself starring in the title role of “Hamlet” at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey, and in 1984, he made his Broadway debut in the revival of Clifford Odets’ “Awake and Sing!”
In 1986, Hamlin’s luck subsequently changed when he landed the role of attorney Michael Kuzak on the NBC drama “L.A. Law,” opposite Corbin Bernsen, Jill Eikenberry, Alan Rachins and Richard A. Dysart. During his five year stint (1986-1991) on the popular series, he earned three Golden Globe nominations, one in 1988, 1989 and 1990, for Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series- Drama. At the height of his success, he even landed the coveted title of People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” in 1987.
While working on the show, the hunky performer reprised his role of Michael Kuzak on the TV film Mickey’s 60th Birthday (1988), and acted in several TV movies, including Laguna Heat (1987), Dinner at Eight (1989) and Deadly Intentions... Again (1991). He also portrayed the title character in the NBC miniseries “Favorite Son” (1988). After his role ended, Hamlin tried to renew his movie career, but was only able to score B movies and direct-to-video features. He maintained his presence on the small screen by having voice-over work on two episodes of “Batman: The Animated Series” (1992).
In mid 1995, Hamlin revisited the stage by starring in “Henri V” at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC., which he followed with a Broadway turn, opposite Mary McDonnell, in 1996’s “Summer and Smoke.” A recurring role on the CBS sitcom “Ink” (1997) returned the actor to TV as a regular on the WB comedy “Movie Stars,” starring as Reese Hardin from 1999 to 2000. Hamlin appeared in a series of films, such as Strange Hearts (2001), Perfume (2001), Oh, Baby (2001, TV), Sex, Lies & Obsession (2001, TV), L.A. Law: The Movie (2002, TV) and Disappearance (2002, TV), before starting a recurring role on the UPN series “Veronica Mars” (2004-2006). There, he played action hero Aaron Echolls, father to Veronica’s high-school rival, Logan Echolls. Aaron’s wife, Lynn, was played by Hamlin’s real-life wife, Lisa Rinna.
In 2006, Hamlin followed in the footsteps of his wife and joined ABC’s reality show, “Dancing with the Stars.” Unfortunately, he was soon voted off the highly rated program. More recently, he appeared in the comedy film Strange Wilderness (2007), alongside Krista Allen, Jake Abel and Kevin Alejandro.