Steve Guttenberg

Steve Guttenberg

Guttenberg in October 2013
Born Steven Robert Guttenberg
(1958-08-24) August 24, 1958
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor, Author, etc.
Years active 1977present
Spouse(s) Denise Bixler (m. 1988–92)

Steven Robert "Steve" Guttenberg (born August 24, 1958) is an American actor, author, businessman, producer, and director. He starred in 1984's Police Academy, after which he had further starring roles in Hollywood films of the 1980s, including Cocoon, Three Men and a Baby, and Short Circuit.

Early life

Guttenberg was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Ann Iris (née Newman), a surgical assistant, and Jerome Stanley Guttenberg, an electrical engineer. He has two sisters.[1] He had a Jewish upbringing[2] in North Massapequa, New York, where he graduated from Plainedge High School in 1976[3] (according to some sources, he transferred to New York City's High School of Performing Arts two years before graduating).[4] During high school, he attended a summer program at the Juilliard School where he studied under John Houseman, and he won a role in an off-Broadway production of The Lion in Winter.[3][4] After his high school graduation, he moved to California to pursue an acting career.[3][4] Guttenberg left for LA with $300 in his pocket, salami from his mother, and his father's briefcase. As Guttenberg recounts, within weeks he was cast in a Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial playing opposite Colonel Sanders.



Guttenberg's film career has spanned nearly four decades. In that time, he has served as an actor, director, writer and producer. His production company, "Mr. Kirby Productions", is named after Gerald J. Kirby, his high school drama teacher.[3]

Guttenberg's first credit (after an uncredited bit part in Rollercoaster) was the starring role in the 1977 California high school comedy The Chicken Chronicles. The picture, set in Beverly Hills in the Spring of 1969, was not a big box-office success, but did become a cult classic after extensive showings on premium cable networks in the United States. He also appeared in the 1978 film The Boys From Brazil, based on the Ira Levin best seller.

In 1980 Guttenberg starred in the Nancy Walker-directed-Allan Carr produced movie Can't Stop the Music—a semi-autobiographical movie about the disco group Village People.

In the 1980s, Guttenberg starred in three film franchises: Police Academy (1984), Cocoon (1985), and Three Men and a Baby (1987). He also appeared in the films Diner (1982), The Bedroom Window (1987), Short Circuit (1986), and High Spirits (1988).

Guttenberg was seen less during the 1990s. He starred in It Takes Two (1995) with Kirstie Alley and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. He also starred alongside Kirsten Dunst in Disney's Tower of Terror (1997), based on the attraction at the Disney's Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

His first film as director/producer/co-screenwriter/star was P.S. Your Cat Is Dead (2002), a film adaptation of a novel and Broadway play by James Kirkwood, Jr..[3] He starred in Mojave Phone Booth (2006) as Barry, and Making Change as Trafton. In Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus and its sequel Meet the Santas, he played the starring role of Nick.

During an interview on November 4, 2009, Guttenberg mentioned that Disney was developing a second sequel to Three Men and a Baby, entitled Three Men and a Bride. Guttenberg stated that his co-stars, Ted Danson and Tom Selleck, would return for the sequel.[5] Guttenberg also mentioned how he would like to make another Police Academy and Cocoon movie, saying they are surefire hits if they were to be made.[6]

In an interview published August 1, 2010, Guttenberg revealed that David Diamond and David Weissman were writing a script for Police Academy 8.[7] Eight days later, actor Bobcat Goldthwait released a statement urging Hollywood to reboot the Police Academy series with a new group of actors instead of the original cast members. Goldthwait confirmed that Steve Guttenberg would return and that movie bosses were trying to get Kim Cattrall and Sharon Stone to return for an eighth sequel though Goldthwait said he had no desire to return to the series.[8]


Guttenberg's television films include the critically acclaimed Miracle on Ice (1981), To Race the Wind (1980), Something for Joey (1977) and the controversial nuclear holocaust picture, The Day After (1983). Prior to becoming well known, Guttenberg played the title role in the short-lived 1979 sitcom Billy as a teenage boy with a Walter Mitty complex. In 1980, a Coca-Cola commercial featured him trying to help a non-English-speaking woman whose car stalled. They share a common bond in their love of Coke.

He had a recurring role on the 2005-2006 season of the television series Veronica Mars as Woody Goodman, a wealthy businessman and community leader. He appeared as a lead in the NBC made-for-TV remake of The Poseidon Adventure, which aired on November 20, 2005, playing Richard Clarke, a failing writer having an affair with a massage therapist. He also appeared in According to Jim episode "Two for the Money" in 2008

On August 25, 2008, Guttenberg released a video entitled "Steve Guttenberg's Steak House"[9] on There are rumors that he will star as comedian Tony Martin in a movie adapted from Martin's book, A Nest of Occasionals.[10]

Guttenberg took part in the 2008 spring season of Dancing with the Stars with professional pro Anna Trebunskaya and was eliminated on April 1.[11]

Guttenberg also played himself in an episode of the Starz comedy Party Down that originally aired May 21, 2010. Guttenberg starred in Season 7 Episode 6 of Law&Order:Criminal Intent(air date:11/8/2007)

Guttenberg can be seen on History Channel's 2015 Sons of Liberty (miniseries). He plays Jack Bonner.

In Fall 2014, Guttenberg wrapped production on SyFy Channel Lavalantula, scheduled to premiere Summer 2015.[12]

Guttenberg was also featured in the Season 6, Episode 8 of Community, "Intro to Recycled Cinema", which aired on Yahoo Screen in April 2015.[13]


In 1990 he replaced Timothy Hutton in the lead role of Prelude to a Kiss at the Helen Hayes Theatre on Broadway.[14]

He also performed in London's West End, where he starred in The Boys Next Door. He appeared in the world stage premiere production of Furthest From the Sun, which Woody Harrelson directed and co-authored.

Guttenberg starred in the Cinderella pantomime at Churchill Theatre in Bromley, England, playing the Baron (father of Cinderella) in 2008.[15] To celebrate Guttenberg's involvement, the local Empire Cinema screened Police Academy on 19 November. Guttenberg introduced the film and answered questions.[16][17]

He appeared on Broadway in late 2011 to early 2012 in Woody Allen's one-act play "Honeymoon Hotel" which was part of the show Relatively Speaking.[14]


In 1989 he appeared in the Michael Jackson music video "Liberian Girl".[18]

On November 12, Guttenberg appeared as a guest on British Channel 4's The Paul O'Grady Show, he said he made the video for Will Ferrell's Funny or Die website, but then decided to release it virally "as if it were real".[19] As part of challenge set on the show, he then went on to become the Guinness World Record Holder for preparing the most hot-dogs in one minute.[20]


The sixth-annual Fire Island Golden Wagon Film Festival honored Guttenberg with the 2008 Tony Randall Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in the entertainment industry, as well as his community service efforts.[21] The award was created in tribute to the first Golden Wagon honoree, Tony Randall, and is given to a member of the entertainment industry who embodies the same love of Fire Island, independent spirit, and community service that Randall shared.

On December 12, 2011, Guttenberg received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[22] The star is located at 6411 Hollywood Blvd.

On October 19, 2014, Guttenberg received a key to the city from Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine for his work with Fun Paw Care, raising awareness for animal rights.[23]



Guttenberg is involved with charities whose goal is to improve opportunities for the homeless and for young people.[25] In 2016, a trust in Guttenberg's honor was established to provide support services to the homeless population of Los Angeles.[26] The Entertainment Industry Foundation, Hollywood's charity arm, selected him to be Ambassador for Children's Issues because of his work on behalf of children and the homeless.[27]

Personal life

Guttenberg married model Denise Bixler on September 30, 1988.[28] They separated in June 1991 and were divorced in 1992.[29] He has lived with WCBS-TV reporter Emily Smith since 2014.[30]

Select filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1977 Rollercoaster Messenger uncredited
The Chicken Chronicles David Kessler
Something for Joey Michael Cappelletti Television movie
1978 The Boys from Brazil Barry Kohler
1979 Players Rusty
1980 Can't Stop the Music Jack Moreli
1981 Miracle On Ice Jim Craig Television movie
1982 Diner Edward 'Eddie' Simmons
1983 The Man Who Wasn't There Samuel 'Sam' Cooper
The Day After Stephen Klein Television movie
1984 Police Academy Cadet Carey Mahoney
1985 Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment Officer Carey Mahoney
Cocoon Jack Bonner
Bad Medicine Jeff Marx
1986 Police Academy 3: Back in Training Sgt. Carey Mahoney
Short Circuit Newton Crosby
1987 The Bedroom Window Terry Lambert
Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol Sgt. Carey Mahoney
Amazon Women on the Moon Jerry
Three Men and a Baby Michael Kellam
Surrender Marty
1988 Cocoon: The Return Jack Bonner
High Spirits Jack Crawford
1990 Don't Tell Her It's Me (aka The Boyfriend School) Gus Kubicek
Three Men and a Little Lady Michael Kellam
1995 The Big Green Sheriff Tom Palmer
Home for the Holidays Walter Wedman
It Takes Two Roger Callaway
1997 Zeus and Roxanne Terry Barnett
Casper: A Spirited Beginning Tim Carson Direct-to-Video
Tower of Terror Buzzy Crocker
1998 Airborne Bill McNeil
1999 Home Team Mr. Butler
2002 P.S. Your Cat Is Dead Jimmy Zoole
2004 Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus Nick
2005 Meet the Santas Nick
The Poseidon Adventure Richard Clarke
2006 Mojave Phone Booth Barry
2008 Major Movie Star Sidney Green
Jackson Businessman
Heidi 4 Paws Sebastian voice only
2009 Shannon's Rainbow Ed
2010 Ay Lav Yu Christopher
Cornered! Morty
2011 A Novel Romance Nate Shepherd
2012 Making Change Trafton
2013 Quick to Duck Mickey Beans
2014 At the Top of the Pyramid Principal Dickson
Affluenza Philip Miller
Sons of Liberty Jack Bonner
2015 Lavalantula Colton West Television movie
2016 Sharknado: The 4th Awakens Colton West Television movie; cameo
2 Lava 2 Lantula Colton West Television movie


  1. Steve Guttenberg Biography (1958-) Film
  2. Aushenker, Michael (January 23, 2003). "P.S., Your Mensch Is Dead—for Now". Jewish Journal. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Fischler, Marcelle S. (January 19, 2003). "A Cheese Slice and a Dose of South Shore". The New York Times.
  4. 1 2 3 Carlson, Timothy (May 19, 1979). "Show Biz". Youngstown Vindicator.
  6. "Guttenberg, Danson, Selleck Walking Down the Aisle for 'Three Men and a Bride'?". Moviefone. November 4, 2009. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  7. Gencarelli, Mike (August 1, 2010). "Interview with Steve Guttenberg". Movie Mikes. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
  8. "Bobcat Goldthwait Wants A New 'Police Academy' Cast". August 9, 2010. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  9. Steve Guttenberg's Steak House
  11. "Steve Guttenberg Eliminated From 'Dancing With The Stars'". Access Hollywood. April 2, 2008. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  14. 1 2 Zeitchik, Steven (October 16, 2011). "Steve Guttenberg is back in the majors". Los Angeles Times.
  15. Gee, Alastair (December 15, 2008). "Steve Guttenberg: from Hollywood to panto in Kent". The Times. TimesOnline. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  16. Mullins, Scott (November 21, 2008). "Steve Guttenberg faced fans questions at a Police Academy screening at The Empire, Bromley". Archived from the original on August 28, 2012. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  17. Eustice, Kerry Ann (November 21, 2008). "Actor Steve Guttenberg talks about starring in panto at The Churchill, Bromley". Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  18. "Liberian Girl - Michael Jackson". Vevo. Archived from the original on December 2, 2013.
  20. "Steve Guttenberg Wins World Record, Spills Beans On Naked Jogging". VH1. November 12, 2008. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  21. "2008 Honoree - Steve Guttenberg". Fire Island Golden Wagon Film Festival.
  22. "Steve Guttenberg gets star on Hollywood Walk of Fame". The Washington Post. December 12, 2011.
  24. Guttenberg, Steve. "The Kids from D.I.S.C.O.". Amazon.
  26. "Private Citizens Aid Los Angeles Homeless Population". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  27. "Steve Guttenberg Charity Work, Events and Causes". Look to the Stars. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  28. "Steve Guttenberg Weds". Rome News-Tribune. October 4, 1988.
  29. "Guttenberg seeks divorce from model". Chicago Sun-Times. January 17, 1992.
  30. Kaufman, Joanne (August 19, 2016). "Steve Guttenberg's Little Home in the Sky". The New York Times. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
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