Corbin Bernsen

Corbin Bernsen Headshot

Actor • Director

Birth Date: September 7, 1954

Age: 69 years old

Birth Place: North Hollywood, California

Corbin Bernsen made it look so easy to play the bad guy, especially with his career-defining role of divorce lawyer Arnie Becker on the 1980s legal drama behemoth, "L.A. Law" (NBC, 1986-1994). With his steely exterior and unrivaled intensity, the actor made a career out of portraying charming yet unsavory characters.

But the talented Bernsen was not all 'bad boy' business - he navigated between genres seamlessly, appearing in countless made-for-TV dramas like the biopic "Line of Fire: The Morris Dees Story" (NBC, 1991) and thrillers like "Shattered" (1991), but also delivered the laughs as a prima donna baseball player in the feature comedy "Major League" (1989). He gave a chilling performance as an insane dentist exacting revenge in the cult horror film "The Dentist" (1996) and was pitch-perfect as a stern ex-cop on the dramedy series "Psych" (USA Network, 2006-14).

But it was Bernsen's memorable turn as the sleazy, womanizing Becker on the hit drama "L.A. Law" that catapulted him to fame and punctuated his long career as a truly talented and multi-layered actor.

Corbin Dean Bernsen was born on Sept. 7, 1954 in North Hollywood, CA to film and television producer, Harry Bernsen, and Jeanne Cooper, who reigned as Kay Chancellor on the long-running soap opera "The Young and the Restless" (CBS, 1973- ) since its inception. Bernsen initially - and ironically - wanted to become a lawyer; instead, he graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a bachelor's degree in theatre arts and a master's degree in playwriting.

Early in his career, he had small parts in many films, including the action drama "Three the Hard Way" (1974), which was produced by his father, as well as "King Kong" (1976) and "Eat My Dust" (1976). The handsome, now New York-based young man managed to pay the bills by working as a carpenter and by modeling - often appearing in soap opera magazines alongside his mother. Taking after her in other ways, he landed a two-year recurring role in 1984 as Ken Graham on the daytime soap opera "Ryan's Hope" (ABC, 1975-1989).

Returning to the West Coast, he found little work, save for a bit part in Blake Edwards' "S.O.B." (1981), and waited for his ship to come in.

In 1986, his long wait was well worth it when he landed the role of a lifetime on the new drama series from TV wunderkind Steven Bochco, "L.A. Law" (NBC, 1986-1994). As the manipulative, womanizing divorce lawyer Arnie Becker, Bernsen was the only member of the cast - including Jimmy Smits, Susan Dey and Harry Hamlin, among others - to stay with the show through its entire run.

Often dealing with hot-button issues such as abortion, domestic violence, and racism, as well as the tensions between the well-paid senior lawyers and their staff, "L.A. Law" was a monster hit, both critically and ratings-wise - much to the 1980s as "ER" would be to the 1990s, ensemble drama-wise. So perfect was Bernsen in his role as the caddish Becker that he earned two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

Bernsen parlayed his success on "L.A. Law" into guest starring roles on hit sitcoms like "Seinfeld" (NBC, 1990-98), magazine covers, and a burgeoning film career where he was often cast as a charming bad boy, not unlike his TV alter ego. At his TV show's peak, he appeared as Shelley Long's arrogant husband in "Hello Again" (1987), played a narcissistic actor in the musical comedy "Bert Rigby, You're a Fool" (1989), and the spacey ringleader of a band of thieves in "Disorganized Crime" (1989). Most memorably in terms of big screen roles, Bernsen also starred alongside Tom Berenger and Charlie Sheen in the blockbuster hit "Major League," as a temperamental ball player-turned-team owner. Despite went on to reprised his role in the film's sequels, "Major League II" (1994) and "Major League: Back to the Minors" (1998).

Bernsen played a string of villainous characters on the big and small screens throughout his career. In 1991, he starred as the Southern Poverty Law Center founder Morris Dees in the made-for-TV biopic "Line of Fire: The Morris Dees Story" and reunited with Berenger in the Hitchcockian thriller "Shattered" (1991). Bernsen also incited mass fear in the cult horror film "The Dentist" (1996) as a crazed doctor who performed cruel dental acts on his innocent patients.

Bernsen kept up his guest starring stints in a number of mediocre made-for-TV thrillers and on popular dramas like "Touched by an Angel" (CBS, 1994-2003) in 1997 and "The West Wing" (NBC, 1999-2006) in 2001, as a shrewd senator. In 2005, Bernsen joined the ensemble cast of the dark comedy "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" opposite Robert Downey, Jr. and Val Kilmer.

Years after his successful run on "L.A. Law," Bernsen revived his TV series career with a lead role on the crime-comedy series "Psych" (USA Network, 2006-14) as a no-nonsense ex-cop and the father of a slacker who pretends to be a psychic (James Roday). Doing double-duty, he even delved back into his soap opera roots with a recurring role beginning in 2009 on his mother's soap, "The Young and the Restless" where he played a priest, Father Todd Williams.

By Candy Cuenco

Credits

Herd

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Robert Miller
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2023

Christmas at Keestone

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Clint Baker
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2023

Journey of Faith

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2022

Left Behind: Rise of the Antichrist

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2022

Repeater

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Edgar Mann
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2022

Past Shadows

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Lewis Samuels
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2021

Roe v. Wade

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Justice Harry Blackmun
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Taking the ReinsStream

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Preston
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Weekend Warriors

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Chief Baumgardner
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Weekend Warriors

Producer
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2021

The Hating Game

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Bexley
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2021

TommyStream

Guest Star
Milt Leakey
Series
2020
68%

Mary for Mayor

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Pat
Movie
2020

Mary for Mayor

Director
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2020

Mary for Mayor

Producer
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2020

Psych 2: Lassie Come HomeStream

Actor
Henry Spencer
Movie
2020
85%

First Lady

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King Max
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2020

A Deadly Legend

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Matthias Leary
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2020

A Bennett Song Holiday

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Aiden Neville
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2020

The Farmer and the Belle: Saving SantalandStream

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Gran'Poppy
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2020

The Christmas Project Reunion

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Grandpa George
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2020

Ihr Wille geschehe

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Harry Blackmun
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2020

The Unseen Realm

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2019

Hunting Evil

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2019

Faith, Hope & Love

Actor
Brian Fuller
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2019

Swell

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Harold
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2019

Sunrise in Heaven

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Jim
Movie
2019

All Good Things

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Pop-pop
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2019

When We Last Spoke

Actor
Walt
Movie
2019

Cadia: The World Within

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George
Movie
2019

Magnum P.I.Stream

Guest Star
Icepick
Series
2018

Hap and LeonardStream

Actor
Chief Cantuck
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2018
94%

The ResidentStream

Guest Star
Kyle Nevin
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2018

The Russian Bride

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Karl Frederick
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2018

Reach

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Charles
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2018

Surviving Theater 9

Actor
Tom
Movie
2018

Alone We Fight

Actor
Colonel Bradley Armstrong
Movie
2018

Life With Dog

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Joe Bigler
Movie
2018

Life With Dog

Director
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2018

Life With Dog

Producer
Movie
2018

Life With Dog

Screenwriter
Movie
2018

Daily Blast Live

Guest
Show
2017

Battle of the Network Stars

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Reality
2017

PowerlessStream

Guest Star
Vanderveer Wayne Sr.
Series
2017
61%

Frankly Faraci

Guest
Show
2017

Larceny

Actor
Price
Movie
2017

Psych: The MovieStream

Actor
Henry Spencer
Movie
2017
100%

My Daddy Is in Heaven

Actor
Vernon
Movie
2017

Distortion

Actor
Dr. Eli Sutton
Movie
2017

Macy's 90th Thanksgiving Day Parade Special

Guest
Show
2016

Grace and FrankieStream

Guest Star
Dr. Paul Mason
Series
2016
90%

Celebrity PageStream

Guest
News
2016

Love's Complicated

Actor
Dublin Sr.
Movie
2016

Prayer Never Fails

Actor
Joseph T. Harrington
Movie
2016

Karen Kingsbury's A Time to Dance

Actor
Pops
Movie
2016

Dead Man Rising

Actor
Buck
Movie
2016

In-Lawfully Yours

Actor
Father Grayson
Movie
2016

In-Lawfully Yours

Producer
Movie
2016

Fresh Off the BoatStream

Guest Star
Mervin
Series
2015
94%

It Had to Be You

Actor
Nolan Powell
Movie
2015

God's Club

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Max Graves
Movie
2015

On the Wing

Actor
Senator Jeremy Ryburn
Movie
2015

NCIS: New OrleansStream

Guest Star
Series
2014

ScorpionStream

Guest Star
Series
2014
61%

Born to Race: Fast Track

Actor
Liam Sterling
Movie
2014

Christian Mingle: The Movie

Actor
Matt
Movie
2014

Christian Mingle: The Movie

Director
Movie
2014

Christian Mingle: The Movie

Producer
Movie
2014

Christian Mingle: The Movie

Screenwriter
Movie
2014

It Came From Connemara!

Actor
Movie
2014

Heart of the Matter

Actor
Tyler Mason
Movie
2014

The Last Straw

Actor
Mr. G.
Movie
2014

MotiveStream

Guest Star
Series
2013

Beyond the Heavens

Actor
Gus Henry
Movie
2013

Beyond the Heavens

Director
Movie
2013

Beyond the Heavens

Producer
Movie
2013

Beyond the Heavens

Screenwriter
Movie
2013

Gordon Family Tree

Actor
Ron Goodson
Movie
2013

Anger ManagementStream

Guest Star
Roger
Series
2012

Lizzie

Actor
Dr. Fredricks
Movie
2012

3 Day Test

Actor
Tom
Movie
2012

3 Day Test

Director
Movie
2012

3 Day Test

Producer
Movie
2012

3 Day Test

Screenwriter
Movie
2012

Lay the Favorite

Actor
Jerry
Movie
2012

Switched at BirthStream

Guest Star
James Wilkerson
Series
2011

The Ascension

Actor
Carl
Movie
2011

The Big Year

Actor
Gil Gordon
Movie
2011

Suing the Devil

Actor
Barry Polk
Movie
2011

25 Hill

Actor
Roy Gibbs
Movie
2011

25 Hill

Director
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2011

25 Hill

Producer
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2011

25 Hill

Screenwriter
Movie
2011

Calendar Girl

Actor
District Attorney
Movie
2011

Stolen Child

Actor
George
Movie
2011

The TalkStream

Guest
Talk
2010

Hawaii Five-0Stream

Guest Star
Series
2010

Access Hollywood Live

Guest
Show
2010

The GladesStream

Guest Star
Series
2010
59%

Rust

Actor
James Moore
Movie
2010

Rust

Director
Movie
2010

Rust

Screenwriter
Movie
2010

Closets

Actor
Grant Erickson
Movie
2010

Across the Line

Actor
FBI Director Hill
Movie
2010

The LeagueStream

Guest Star
Bruce
Series
2009
81%

CastleStream

Guest Star
Series
2009
82%

Donna on Demand

Actor
Ben Corbin
Movie
2009

Donna on Demand

Director
Movie
2009

Donna on Demand

Producer
Movie
2009

Donna on Demand

Screenwriter
Movie
2009

Dead Air

Director
Movie
2009

Trapped

Actor
Edward Roth Hutton
Movie
2009

Wanna Bet?

Contestant
Show
2008

Celebrity Family Feud

Contestant
Show
2008

Steven and Chris

Guest
Show
2008

How Much Is Enough?

Host
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2008

Vipers

Actor
Burton
Movie
2008

For the Love of Grace

Actor
Captain Washington
Movie
2008

Confessions of a Go-Go Girl

Actor
Nick Harvey
Movie
2008

House of Fallen

Actor
Rowland
Movie
2008

Pirate Camp

Actor
Hookbeard
Movie
2007

PsychStream

Actor
Series
2006
89%

The New Adventures of Old ChristineStream

Guest Star
Series
2006

Sex & Consequences

Actor
John Wayne
Movie
2006

Paid

Actor
William Montague
Movie
2006

Masters of HorrorStream

Actor
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2005

Criminal MindsStream

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2005

Twins

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2005

Cuts

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2005

The Naked Ape

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2005

Carpool Guy

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Michael
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2005

Carpool Guy

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2005

Carpool Guy

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2005

Raging Sharks

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Capt. Riley
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2005

Ordinary Miracles

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David Woodbury
Movie
2005

Kiss Kiss Bang BangStream

Actor
Harlan Dexter
Movie
2005
86%

Boston LegalStream

Guest Star
Attorney Eli Granger
Series
2004
86%

Celebrity Mole Yucatan

Contestant
Show
2004

Nightmare Boulevard

Actor
Jerry Martin
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2004

Call Me: The Rise and Fall of Heidi FleissStream

Actor
Steve
Movie
2004

Death and Texas

Actor
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2004

They Are Among Us

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Norbert
Movie
2004

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause

Actor
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2003

Dragnet

Guest Star
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2003

Celebrity Mole Hawaii

Self
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2003

The Commission

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Rep. Gerald R. Ford
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2003

Gentle Ben 2: Danger on the Mountain

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Fog Benson
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2003

Love Comes SoftlyStream

Actor
Ben Graham
Movie
2003

Presidio Med

Guest Star
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2002

L.A. Law: The Movie

Actor
Arnie Becker
Movie
2002

Atomic Twister

Actor
Sheriff C.B. Bishop
Movie
2002

Gentle Ben

Actor
Fog Benson
Movie
2002

The Santa Trap

Actor
Chief Spivak
Movie
2002

Law & Order: Criminal IntentStream

Guest Star
Series
2001

Citizen Baines

Guest Star
Show
2001

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

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David Carver
Movie
2001

Fangs

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Carl Hart
Movie
2001

Raptor

Actor
Dr. Hyde
Movie
2001

The Tomorrow Man

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Larry
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2001

Dinosaurio Asesino

Actor
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2001

Judgment

Actor
Mitch Kendrick
Movie
2001

Yes, Dear

Guest Star
Series
2000

Battery Park

Guest Star
Show
2000

Borderline Normal

Actor
Benjiman Walling
Movie
2000

Rangers

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Senator
Movie
2000

Killer Instinct

Actor
Jennings Wilhite
Movie
2000

Third WatchStream

Guest Star
Series
1999

The West WingStream

Guest Star
Henry Shallick
Series
1999
81%

Twice in a Lifetime

Guest Star
Show
1999

Two of Hearts

Actor
Bruce Saunders
Movie
1999

La Pista del Crimen

Actor
Mayor Richardson
Movie
1999

Harlequin: Recipe for Revenge

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Dr. Chester Winnifield
Show
1998

The Ghoul

Actor
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1998

Ligas Mayores III

Actor
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1998

Harlequin: Receta Para la Revancha

Actor
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1998

Loyal Opposition: Terror in the White House

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Secret Service Agent John Gray
Movie
1998

Major League: Back to the Minors

Actor
Roger Dorn
Movie
1998

Riddler's Moon

Actor
George
Movie
1998

Recipe for Revenge

Actor
Dr. Chester Winnifield
Movie
1998

Young Hearts Unlimited

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Brian
Movie
1998

The Dentist II

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Dr. Lawrence Caine/Dr. Alan Feinstone
Movie
1998

An American Affair

Actor
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1998

The Misadventures of Margaret

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Art Turner
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1998

Tidal Wave: No Escape

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John Wahl
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1997

Kounterfeit

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Marty Hopkins
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1997

Spacejacked

Actor
Barnes
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1997

Kiss of a Stranger

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Mason
Movie
1997

Ar, El Rey de las Hadas

Actor
Movie
1997

The Cape

Actor
Col Henry J. "Bull" Eckert
Show
1996

7th HeavenStream

Guest Star
Series
1996

Nash Bridges

Guest Star
Series
1996

Círculo Completo, Una Novela de Danielle Steel

Actor
Harrison Winslow
Movie
1996

Circulo Cerrado

Actor
Harrison Winslow
Movie
1996

The Cold Heart of a Killer

Actor
Alex Jensen
Movie
1996

Bloodhounds

Actor
Harrison Coyle
Movie
1996

The Great White HypeStream

Actor
Peter Prince
Movie
1996
42%

Baja

Actor
John Stone
Movie
1996

Inhumanoid

Actor
Foster Carver
Movie
1996

Bloodhounds II

Actor
Harrison Coyle
Movie
1996

Full Circle

Actor
Harrison Winslow
Movie
1996

The Dentist

Actor
Dr. Alan Feinstone
Movie
1996

Menno's Mind

Actor
Felix Medina
Movie
1996

Búsqueda Sangrienta

Actor
Movie
1996

Danielle Steel: La Rueda del Deseo

Actor
Movie
1996

JAGStream

Guest Star
Series
1995

The Outer LimitsStream

Guest Star
Virgil Nygard
Series
1995

A Whole New Ballgame

Actor
Brett Sooner
Show
1995

Terror en el Cielo 2

Actor
Movie
1995

Aurora Plan Intersección

Actor
Movie
1995

Cara Vivirás, Ceca Morirás

Actor
Neil Jones / Roy Francis Netter
Movie
1995

Aurora: Plan Intercepción

Actor
Flight Engineer Murphy
Movie
1995

Dangerous Intentions

Actor
Tom Williamson
Movie
1995

In the Heat of the Night: By Duty Bound

Actor
Frank Cole
Movie
1995

Aurora: Operation Intercept

Actor
Flight Engineer Murphy
Movie
1995

Tales From the Hood

Actor
Duke Metger
Movie
1995

Tails You Live, Heads You're Dead

Actor
Neil Jones/Roy Francis Netter
Movie
1995

Murderous Intent

Actor
Brice
Movie
1995

Cover Me

Actor
Andre Solloway
Movie
1995

Temptress

Actor
Nick
Movie
1995

Someone to Die For

Actor
Jack Davis
Movie
1995

Jugando Entre la Vida y la Muerte

Actor
Movie
1995

The Extraordinary

Host
Show
1994

Touched by an AngelStream

Guest Star
Series
1994

Danger virtuel

Actor
Movie
1994

¿Quién la Mató?

Actor
Movie
1994

Misión de Muerte

Actor
Movie
1994

I Know My Son Is Alive

Actor
Dr. Mark Elshant
Movie
1994

Final Mission

Actor
General Morgan Breslaw
Movie
1994

Major League IIStream

Actor
Roger Dorn
Movie
1994
5%

Ring of the Musketeers

Actor
Harry
Movie
1994

Where Are My Children?

Actor
Tom Scott
Movie
1994

Voices From Within

Actor
Mark Reichard
Movie
1994

The New Age

Actor
Kevin Bulasky
Movie
1994

A Brilliant Disguise

Actor
Dr. Martin
Movie
1994

Radioland Murders

Actor
Dexter Morris
Movie
1994

Savage Land

Actor
Quint
Movie
1994

The Soft Kill

Actor
Lewis
Movie
1994

Guns of Honor

Actor
Brent Mallick
Movie
1994

NYPD BlueStream

Guest Star
Bob Cavanaugh
Series
1993
83%

Trigger Fast

Actor
Movie
1993

Beyond Suspicion

Actor
Stan
Movie
1993

The Killing Box

Actor
Col. Nehemiah Strayn
Movie
1993

Fatal Inheritance

Actor
Woodward Dawes
Movie
1993

Los Secretos de la Política

Actor
Movie
1992

El Amor También Mata

Actor
Movie
1992

Grass Roots

Actor
Will Lee
Movie
1992

Frozen Assets

Actor
Zach Shepard
Movie
1992

Love Can Be Murder

Actor
Nick Peyton
Movie
1992

Destrozado

Actor
Movie
1991

Line of Fire: The Morris Dees Story

Actor
Morris Dees
Movie
1991

Dead on the Money

Actor
Carter Matthews
Movie
1991

ShatteredStream

Actor
Jeb Scott
Movie
1991
33%

SeinfeldStream

Guest Star
Himself
Series
1989
89%

Anything But Love

Guest Star
Series
1989

Bert Rigby, You're a Fool

Actor
Jim Shirley
Movie
1989

Intriga Siniestra

Actor
Movie
1989

Major LeagueStream

Actor
Roger Dorn
Movie
1989
83%

Disorganized Crime

Actor
Frank Salazar
Movie
1989

Breaking Point

Actor
Pike
Movie
1989

Point de rupture

Actor
Movie
1989

Dear John

Guest Star
Series
1988

The Fairy King of Ar

Actor
Rob Preston
Movie
1988

Star Trek: The Next GenerationStream

Guest Star
Q2
Series
1987
92%

Star Trek: The Next Generation 2.0

Guest Star
Show
1987

Hello Again

Actor
Jason Chadman
Movie
1987

Mace

Actor
Webster
Movie
1987

L.A. LawStream

Actor
Arnie Becker
Series
1986

MatlockStream

Guest Star
Series
1986

L.A. Law

Actor
Movie
1986

L.A. Law

Actor
Arnie Becker
Movie
1986

Doubletake

Actor
Tennis Pro
Movie
1985

Eat My Dust!

Actor
Roy Puire
Movie
1976

Saturday Night LiveStream

Host
Series
1975

The Young and the RestlessStream

Guest Star
Series
1973

The WaltonsStream

Guest Star
Series
1972

General HospitalStream

Actor
Soap
1963

General Hospital Friday

Actor
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1963

General Hospital Monday

Actor
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1963

General Hospital Thursday

Actor
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1963

General Hospital Tuesday

Actor
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1963

General Hospital Wednesday

Actor
Show
1963

General Hospital Yesterday

Actor
Show
1963

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny CarsonStream

Guest
Talk
1962

Today

Guest
News
1952

News aboutCorbin Bernsen