Dan Hedaya is an American actor, who is known for playing supporting roles in numerous films and television series. He established himself as a supporting actor, but it would take him years to finally decide to pursue a career in show business. The now 79-year-old actor worked as a school teacher shortly after graduating from varsity. Before making his big screen debut, Dan often played villainous characters, but due to his long list of appearances, it’s hard to say what he’s most recognized for. Nevertheless, Dan would be a familiar face to many.
A very happy birthday to actor Dan Hedaya, whose familiar face is often cast in the role of a…
Here’s everything we could dig up about veteran actor Dan the man Hedaya.
Early life and family
Daniel G. Hedaya was born on July 24, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York City, USA. His parents were Jewish immigrants from Aleppo, Syria, who most likely sought asylum in the US during the Holocaust of World War II.
Dan grew up in Bensonhurst, a residential neighborhood in the Brooklyn borough, but otherwise not much is known about Dan’s earliest life – even the identities of his parents have remained unknown to the public.
Dan attended Tufts University in Massachusetts, where he was from graduated in 1962. It is not known what Dan graduated from, but since he worked as a teacher, it would most likely have been pedagogical sciences, or something similar.
While attending college, Dan developed an interest in acting and participated in several stage productions at the campus theater. He later continued his acting training at Herbert Berghof Studios in New York.
Dan’s first appearance was in 1970 as an extra in the movie “Myra Breckinridge”, but only as a patient on a hospital ward, so an uncredited role. Dan’s real success as an actor didn’t begin until the mid-1970s, when he was cast in the soap opera “Ryan’s Hope”. The following year, he appeared in an episode of “Kojak”, since then the roles kept coming in, and Dan became one of the most sought after actors both for movies and TV.
Some of the more memorable appearances he made on television shows of the 1970s include “The Andros Targets” and “Paris”, and he also starred in two major motion pictures, 1976’s “The Passover Plot” and “The Seduction of Joe Tynan”. in 1979.
The 1980s were eventful years for the up-and-coming actor, and saw him land numerous roles in films and television shows. Some of the more notable titles include the “Hill Street Blues”, “CHiPs”, “Miami Vice”, and “The Twilight Zone” series. He also starred in recurring roles on the shows “Cheers” and its later sequel “The Tortellis”.
He also played supporting roles in several films; some notable titles include “True Confessions” starring Robert De Niro, “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension”, the Clint Eastwood movie “Tightrope” and the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie “Commando”, in addition to a dozen other productions.
During the 1990s, his repertoire of performances continued to grow, appearing in about 30 films and a similar number of television shows. He appeared in the romantic comedy “Joe Versus The Volcano” by Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, as well as one of the first films with Keanu Reeves – “Tune In Tomorrow” – and “The Addams Family”. Some of the TV series Dan appeared in include “Fallen Angels”, “Law and Order”, “NYPD Blue”, and “ER”.
From 2000, Dan continued to get roles, starring in several iconic movies and voice Mr Gunk in the animated movie “Robots”.
In 2006, he played the role of Adrian Monk’s long-lost father Jack Monk in the television series “Monk”, and some other titles included “The Extreme Adventures of Super Dave”, “Quicksand” and “American Cousins”.
His most recent works include the 2016 film adaptation of JK Rowling’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them”, and he can also be seen in the 2020 production “The God Committee”, four recent episodes of “Blue Bloods” and the comedy series “Odd Mom Out”.
Hobbies, favorite things and interesting facts
Due to Dan’s strong resemblance to former US President Nixon, he landed a role playing President Richard M ‘Tricky Dicky’ Nixon, in the movie titled “Dick”.
Although he had several roles playing Italian-American characters, probably due to his dark complexion, Dan is actually more Arab, being of Syrian descent.
Dan’s personal life has never attracted public attention and he has kept most of his affairs private. So it’s not known if Dan was ever married, or to whom, but he did appear on the red carpet once with his children. However, their identities remain secret.
- Date of birth: July 24, 1940
- Hair Color: Brown
- Eye Color: Brown
- Height: 5ft 9ins (1.75m)
- Weight: 165 lb (75 kg)
- Shoe size: unknown
- Nationality: American
- Ethnicity: Syrian/American/Arab
Through all the years of Dan’s supporting actor career, he had built up an estimation net value in excess of $5 million, as of mid-2020.