|If they want a funny old man who has a spark, they call me," says 82-year-old Phil Leeds. And boy, has Hollywood been calling. The veteran character actor, who got his start as a Catskills comedian, turned up on four series last May: the final episodes of Ellen and Murphy Brown, and in his recurring roles on Ally McBeal and Everybody Loves Raymond. He also appeared on Veronica's Closet earlier in the season. "I'm not too pretty," says Leeds. "But after 60 years in the business, I know a great deal about comedy."|
A New York City native (he grew up in the Bronx), Leeds honed his acting skills on Broadway in the 1950s and '60s and in such films as "Rosemary's Baby" and "Ghost." Today he's more in demand than ever. "I'm blessed," he says. "I can learn lines as fast as any of the kids today. And at my age, people don't remember lines."
-- Frank DeCaro