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Arts and Entertainment

TV Junkie: An Interview with Len Lesser - Uncle Leo, is that you?

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It's not very often that one gets to sit with a legend (ok sure, we did just get to hang out with Betty White a few weeks ago), so we were thrilled to have a chance to speak with veteran character actor Len Lesser who has been in hundreds of TV and film productions in his 60+ year career.

Lesser is featured in the play "Awake and Sing!" at Glendale's A Noise Within theatre company whose production opens tomorrow. A very active 87 year-old, Lesser has been involved with A Noise Within for several years and is maintains a heavy theatre schedule, whether in Glendale, Toronto, or other cities on the continent.

We posted the above excerpt of an hour long conversation we had with Lesser about his experiences as Uncle Leo on "Seinfeld"; working on Kelly's Heroes with Clint Eastwood; as well as doing live television in 1952 with John Frankenheimer on CBS' "Playhouse 90". We guarantee that the majority of employees who pull into CBS' lot off of Fairfax have no idea that the complex was even there in the 1940s and that they were producing complex and high-quality movie-length live television on a weekly basis if not more often. Back in those days, everybody was trying to get into what was an exciting new medium and Lesser worked with the best: Frankenheimer, his friend Geraldine Page, his acting coach Uta Hagen - all legends.

We will publish more of the interview next week - in the meantime, enjoy the video and consider the opportunity to see Len Lesser continue to perform his craft, a true master, in the A Noise Within production of Clifford Odets' "Awake and Sing!" from tomorrow through May 23rd.

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Veteran actor Len Lesser stars in A Noise Within's production of Clifford Odets' classic "Awake and Sing!" [Photo by Thomas Attila Lewis]