While some actors are loved for their portrayal of a main character in a movie, others gather their fan base while being type-cast as a villain. One of them is Anthony Zerbe, a well recognized antagonist from a number of famous movies and series. Who is Anthony Zerbe? What happened to his eye?
Early life and Education
Anthony Jared Zerbe was born on 20 May 1936, in Long Beach, California USA, to parents Arthur LeVan Zerbe and Catherine Schurlock. He attended Newport Harbor High School located in Newport Beach, California, and after matriculation moved to Clairemont, California, where he attended Pomona College, the same college that his parents went to, and graduated with a bachelor degree in 1958.
When he was 17, he became interested in stage productions; he says that what inspired him to make acting his life call was seeing Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman perform on Broadway, in a play entitled “Picnic”. Zerbe was one of many old school actors who attended Stella Adler’s acting school in New York City, but in 1958 Zerbe became a member of the California Air National Guard, and in 1960 was transferred to the Air Force Reserve. He didn’t serve on active duty, and was discharged in 1968.
Zerbe started his acting career on television, by appearing in guest roles in a number of series including “The Virginian”, “The Wild Wild West”, “Twelve O’Clock High”, and “Bonanza”.
He also had cameos in “Gunsmoke”, “Hawaii Five-O”, “The F.B.I.”, “The Rockford Files”, “Columbo” and “Dynasty” among many others. He also appeared in four episodes of the series “Mannix”, as well as in two episodes of “Kung Fu” and four episodes of “Mission: Impossible”.
Some of Zerbe’s starring roles include “The Young Riders”, his appearances in the second and final seasons of “Harry O” – for which Zerbe earned himself an Emmy Award in 1976, in category of Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – his portrayal of Pontius Pilate in “A.D”, the miniseries made of six parts that depicts the narrative of “Act of the Apostles”, and his appearance in “North and South: Book III”, in which he played General Grant.
Zerbe also appeared in number of episodes of “Centennial”, the NBC miniseries that aired in 1978. One of Zerbe’s most famous roles was his portrayal of Milton Krest, a secondary villain in “James Bond: Licence to Kill” from 1989. Another of Zerbe’s prominent villainous roles was his appearance in one of the most popular science fiction series “Star Trek”, as the character of Admiral Matthew Dougherty in the 1998 episode entitled “Star Trek: Insurrection”.
Zerbe remained a household name for years, and active until 2016. Some of his later roles include his appearances in “True Crime” portraying Henry Lowenstein, the guest role of Tyler Hume in the TV Series “Total Recall 2070”, “The Matrix Reloaded” and “The Matrix Revolutions” as Councillor Hamann, as well as in the video game “Enter the Matrix”, voicing the same character.
He also played Judge Henry Sobel in “Judging Amy” a family drama series, and appeared in “Veritas, Prince of Truth”, “American Hustle” and “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks”. His final appearance was in Stuart Cooper’s thriller entitled “The Investigation”, in which he was the only credited actor. Zerbe is rumored to appear in another Stuart Cooper’s film, a western set in 1861 under the working name “The Express”. As of March 2020 ther bute is no release date of the movie, Zerbe will portray the character named Major Egan.
Other Career Endeavors
Alongside his television appearances, Zerbe has also been a part of many Broadway productions, such as “Terra Nova”, “Solomon’s Child”, “Moon Besieged” and “The Little Foxes”.
For five seasons he was in residence at The Old Globe Theatre, where he played a number of main Shakespearean characters, and earned a lot of positive critical acclaim. Other theatres where he held residencies were the Theatre of the Living Arts in Philadelphia, The Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, as well as the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.
Apart from acting, Zerbe also has a prominent career as an artistic director. In fact, he used to be an artistic director of festival “Reflections, a New Plays” that was held at the Geva Theatre, located in Rochester, New York State. Together with Roscoe Lee Browne, his fellow actor, he toured all over the US for over 30 years with the production of “Behind the Broken Words”, which was a collection of comedy, 20th-century poetry and drama.
The performance premiered at the Mark Taper Forum, and it was played off-Broadway and in over 200 theatres all over the US. Zorbe also had a one man show entitled “It’s All Done With Mirrors”, which he performed in over 100 venues, the most important one being in the Library of Congress. Together with Joe Henry, a writer, lyricist and poet from Colorado, in 2000 Zerbe adapted their mutual and continuing project entitled “Prelude to Lime Creek” for the stage.
On 7th October 1962, Zerbe married Arnette Jens, fellow actress and sister of Salome Jens.
Arnette landed roles in movies such as “The Balcony” and “Cloud Dancer”, and had retired from acting in 1980. The couple has two children together, named Janet Zerbe and Jared Lee Van Zerbe. In 2016, a rumor started about a divorce, however, Zerbe and Arnette have denied it and Zerbe even stated that Arnette has always been a “supportive wife”. As of March 2020, they have been married for over 55 years, which is one of the longest lasting marriages in Hollywood. One of the couple’s latest public sightings was in 2016 at the 25th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival, held at the Lobero Theatre located in Santa Barbara, California. The couple was seen at the American Riviera Award ceremony, together with screenwriter Pamela Gray.
Zerbe has been a prominent face on both television and films for over 50 years. He has earned a pretty penny from his acting career, and his net worth is estimated at around $3 million as of early 2020.
Zerbe is best recognized by his distinguishable eyebrows, smirk, and brown unevenly sized eyes. Despite many gossips and questions, Zerbe’s eyes aren’t a result of any injury – he simply has a condition called lazy eyelid!
He is a man of average build, 5ft 10ins (1.78m) tall but his weight isn’t disclosed. He also has a deep, commanding voice which has made him perfect for portraying sinister villains.