Paul Kent (actor)

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Paul Kent
Kent in front of the Melrose Theater in 1975
Paul Inglese

October 13, 1930 (1930-10-13)
DiedOctober 7, 2011 (2011-10-08) (aged 80)
Years active1956–2011

Paul Kent (October 13, 1930 – October 7, 2011) was an American actor and the founder/artistic director of the Melrose Theatre in West Hollywood.


Early life[edit]

Kent was born as Paul Inglese on October 13, 1930 in Brooklyn, New York. He studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse and briefly served in the United States Army during the Korean War. In 1958, he and his parents moved from New York to California, where he trained under Sanford Meisner and later assisted Meisner with his classes; the two became close friends and colleagues during Meisner's life, and when Meisner left Los Angeles to go back to New York, he left his teaching methods to be carried on in the West by Kent who consequently taught acting for many years through his theater.

Kent played a part in the formation of Lucille Ball's Desilu Workshop, where he became the first acting student signed by the workshop. According to Hedda Hopper, when Kent appeared at the workshop to help a female friend at an audition, he was discovered by Ball and promptly signed to an actor-stage manager contract. Kent's acting roles during this period included a small part in an episode of December Bride in 1957.

Acting instruction[edit]

In 1964, Kent founded the Melrose Theater in West Hollywood with the assistance of fellow actors including Tom Troupe, Carole Cook, Richard Bull and Don Eitner. Funds for the theater were partially raised by a guest appearance with Lucille Ball and Gary Morton on Password.

Kent later recalled in an interview with The Los Angeles Times:

I was scared to death. I wasn't working steadily, I didn't know where the next rent would come from, and I had no experience in building a theater...I bought seats from a defunct movie house on Washington Boulevard. I'll never forget. Two dollars a seat. Linden Chiles and the students and I literally unbolted the seats from the floor and brought them back here.

In 1976, Kent entered into a partnership with workshop organizer Jomarie Ward to purchase a former bakery and photographer's studio at 733 North Seward Street in Hollywood. With the assistance of Ward and members of the workshop, the building was renovated and converted to the new Melrose Theater in 1977; the new, larger theater became the permanent headquarters of the Melrose, with Kent installed as artistic director and Ward as managing director.

In 1984, Kent decided to create a production employing the largest possible number of Melrose actors, and convened several playwrights at the Mark Taper Forum to write a play in a bar setting to be produced by the theater; the resulting collaboration, The Bar Off Melrose, was credited to fifteen playwrights and employed nearly forty actors. The play premiered successfully in 1986, and is still performed today at various theaters, drama workshops and colleges.

Acting career[edit]

While serving as artistic director of the Melrose Theater, Kent also acted in many of its plays, and continued acting in film and television. One of Kent's acting appearances in the 1970s was a small part in the television miniseries Helter Skelter; the part was notable because Kent later played a different character in the 2004 adaptation directed by John Gray. Gray later bought Kent back to play a spirit in an episode of his TV series, Ghost Whisperer ("Mended Hearts"). In addition, Kent often played different characters in multiple episodes of a series, including his appearances in Lou Grant, T. J. Hooker and Falcon Crest.

In 1987 Kent played Harry M. Daugherty in a made-for-TV biographical film of J. Edgar Hoover, produced by Showtime. In 1999, he became the third actor to play the character of "Doctor Noel Clinton" in Port Charles, a spinoff of General Hospital, succeeding actors Dean Harens and Ron Husmann, he had a lead starring role as the character of "Miles Mason" in Viagra Falls, a television pilot. One of his final acting roles was his portrayal of Mack Sennett in Return to Babylon, an independent film released in 2013.

In 1975, Kent reflected on his craft to Los Angeles Times reporter Lawrence Christon:

Acting is my sanity, the thing I run to when things go wrong in my life. My special joy is rehearsing, making discoveries about the ins and outs of character. I love it so much that the actual performance, to me, is like the cigarette after the affair.

Personal life[edit]

Kent was the father of several children. At the time of his death he was married to actress and author Madelyn Cain.[1]


Kent died on October 7, 2011, six days before his 81st birthday, in Hollywood Hills, California from multiple myeloma,[1] he was buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills.

Partial filmography[edit]


Title Character Year Notes
Diane Groom 1956 Uncredited
Seconds Party Guest 1966 Uncredited
The Astronaut (TV) Carl Samuels 1972
Family Flight (TV) First Controller 1972
The Mad Bomber Dr. Devincy 1973
The Alpha Caper (TV) John Woodbury 1973
Pray for the Wildcats (TV) Doctor Harris 1974
Helter Skelter (TV) Dennis Ranson 1976
Lifeguard Jack Gilmore 1976
Ruby Louie 1977
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Commander Beach 1982
Perfect Judge 1985
J. Edgar Hoover (TV) Harry M. Daugherty 1987
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors Doctor Carver 1987
Programmed to Kill Carlson 1987
Double Revenge Judge 1988
The Jigsaw Murders Captain Matt Ludwig 1989
The Road Home Coach Dale 2003
Helter Skelter (TV) Van Nuys Judge 2004
Return to Babylon Mack Sennett 2013 (final film role)


Title Episode(s) Character(s) Year(s)
My Three Sons Bub's Butler Announcer 1963
The Outer Limits The Man With The Power Detective 1963
Mission: Impossible Elena Frederico (Uncredited) 1966
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The Master's Touch Affair Valandros's Aide 1967
Hawaii Five-O Strangers In Our Own Land David Milner 1968
Bonanza The Night Virginia City Died Doctor Martin 1970
The Six Million Dollar Man The Rescue of Athena One Flight Surgeon Wolf 1974
Starsky and Hutch The Plague Lieutenant Anderson 1977
Three's Company Jack Moves Out/Professor Jack Alvin Morrell/Doctor Anderson 1979/1981
Diff'rent Strokes Small Claims Court/Fire Judge Roscoe C. Briggs/Chief Scott 1980/1982
The Dukes of Hazzard Cletus Falls In Love Mister Hodges 1981
Doogie Howser, M.D. Doogenstein Philip Leonetti 1990
Coach Vegas Odds Mister Burrows 1993
Frasier Burying a Grudge Doctor Sternstein 1994
High Incident Knock Knock Steven Carlisle 1997
The Practice Trial And Error Judge Skully (Uncredited) 1997
Boy Meets World The Honeymooners Tourist #1 1999
The West Wing Inauguration, Part I Cardinal Patrick 2003
ER Get Carter Mister Morgan 2004
Ghost Whisperer Mended Hearts Patient 2005


  1. ^ a b Paul Kent - IMDb profile,; accessed December 18, 2016.

External links[edit]