Paul Shenar

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Paul Shenar
Born Albert Paul Shenar
(1936-02-12)February 12, 1936
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
Died October 11, 1989(1989-10-11) (aged 53)
West Hollywood, California U.S.
Cause of death Complications of AIDS[1]
Resting place California
Occupation Actor
Years active 1973−1989

Albert Paul Shenar (February 12, 1936 − October 11, 1989) was an American actor.


Shenar was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of Mary Rosella (née Puhek) and Eugene Joseph Shenar.[2]


Shenar became involved in theatre at an early age, working in Milwaukee playhouse productions. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the United States Air Force. Following his military career he began acting again. Shenar gained attention playing larger-than-life entertainment legends in 1970s television filmsOrson Welles in The Night That Panicked America (1975) and Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr., in Ziegfeld: The Man and His Women (1978). He portrayed the character John Carrington in Part III of the miniseries Roots (1977).

Shenar also portrayed the ruthless Bolivian drug lord Alejandro Sosa in Brian De Palma's 1983 feature film, Scarface. He portrayed crime boss Luigi Patrovita's (Sam Wanamaker) second in command, Paulo Rocca in Raw Deal (1986).

A founding member, actor, director and teacher of the American Conservatory Theatre (ACT) in San Francisco, he played more than forty roles there, including Hamlet, Oedipus Rex and Brother Julian in Tiny Alice. He voiced the evil rat Jenner in the animated feature The Secret of NIMH (1982). Shenar's performance in The Secret of NIMH so impressed producer Don Bluth he had wanted to hire Shenar to also voice the villain Borf in the game Space Ace, but was unable to do so due to budget issues (a role that ultimately went to Bluth himself).[3]

Later roles and death[edit]

Shenar continued to act during the late 1980s. He did a stage version of Macbeth in Los Angeles and appeared in films like Best Seller (1987), The Bedroom Window (1987), The Big Blue (1988), plus the TV film Rage of Angels: The Story Continues. He died from complications of AIDS on October 11, 1989.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Shenar and British actor Jeremy Brett were in a relationship in the 1970s; it reportedly lasted five years.[4]



  1. ^ a b "AIDS at 25". San Francisco Chronicle. June 8, 2006. p. E1. Retrieved October 3, 2011. Paul Shenar, died Oct. 11, 1989, at age 53. Actor. Part of the American Conservatory Theater's founding acting company, Shenar appeared in more than 40 plays with ACT in the 1970s, including appearances as Hamlet, Oedipus and in "Tiny Alice." 
  2. ^ "Paul Shenar Biography (1936-1989)". Retrieved 3 April 2016. 
  3. ^ Space Ace Blu-Ray, commentary by Bluth
  4. ^ Graham, David, Casting About: A Memoir (iUniverse, 2007), page 265

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