"It's a Fine Line: Renaissance Man or Dilettante?"
The Actor. The Comedian.
A youthful Wayne with an equally youthful Robin Williams. ("Off The Wall" Hollywood, 1978)
Wayne Powers’ television career spans several decades and includes his recurring role as the Cop on Laverne & Shirley, MacKenzie Phillips’ boyfriend on One Day At A Time, Murder She Wrote, several episodes of Simon And Simon, Full House, Alf, Alien Nation, Doogie Howser, as Joe Esposito in the now-classic mini-series, Elvis and Me, and many others, including starring for two seasons in his own popular NBC sitcom, 13 East.
A feature film career has been brief and elusive for Powers, co-starring with good friend Paul Sorvino in a forgettable film comedy, Vasectomy - A Delicate Matter. Wayne wryly comments, "It was one of those unremarkable films that make you wonder who you have to go to bed with to get your name OFF of the DVD package!"
Powers’ theatrical background spans from way back in his dinner theatre days, co-starring with Dick Sargent (from TV's Bewitched) in Not With My Daughter and includes serving as President of the renowned Group Repertory Theatre in Los Angeles, playing the lead role in Inside Eddie Binstock, which he co-directed with actor/playwright Tim Robbins and performed for a delighted Lord Laurence Olivier.
As a member of the legendary Off The Wall comedy troupe in Hollywood, Wayne improvised regularly with Robin Williams... and lived.
Powers has also been known for his unique ways of creating a powerful brew of laughter and amazement as a highly entertaining performer of comedy magic.
Since his relocation to Charlotte, Wayne has appeared in several award-winning, hit productions at the Charlotte Repertory Theatre, including Steve Martin's Picasso at the Lapin Agile and a reunion (after 20 years) with actress Bonnie Franklin in Alan Ayckbourn's Communicating Doors.
Powers has performed, taught and directed improvisational comedy at the Improv on Melrose in Hollywood. Wayne has privately coached several top actors, comedians, magicians and broadcasters. He has directed many professional acting, commercial and voiceover workshops and master classes, including at the Debbie Reynolds Studio in North Hollywood, with Darryl Hickman, Lu Leonard, and Charles Nelson Reilly. When he finds time, Wayne still occasionally directs a professional workshop in his adopted home town; Charlotte, North Carolina.
From the Video Archives:
Click on the Play Button (>) to watch a quick scene from "13 EAST" (NBC) starring DIANA BELLAMY and Wayne.
A few pages from Wayne's personal scrapbook.
TURN THE OTHER CHEEK - Decompressing after a taping of 13 EAST, Wayne plants one on the cheek of producer/director/comedian, SCOEY MITCHLLL. (1991)
Breaking up comedian KIP ADDOTTA during a taping of "Stop Me If You Heard This One" (MTM -1991)
Wayne gives DANNY THOMAS a hard time as Officer Crenshaw on "I'm A Big Girl Now" (ABC - 1981).
GERALD McRANEY gets a ribbing from Wayne as Lester Michaels in the "Bon Voyage, Alonso" episode of "Simon & Simon" (CBS - 1983)
PAUL SORVINO, Wayne, JERRY VALE, and CARMINE CARRIDI block the view of some other unidentified Italian showbiz character after a major pasta dinner. (L.A., c 1992)
Backstage at "13 EAST" with talented co-star ROSE MARIE JACKSON, as Rose tries feeding Wayne ... anything to stop him from practicing his trumpet. (NBC - 1991)
BACKSTAGE WITH BONNIE FRANKLIN. Between acts, in makeup & hairpiece, Wayne asks, "So how come, after 20 years, you still look the same?" . ("Communicating Doors" 1999)
FOND FAREWELL: JAY MARSHALL 1919-2005. A Treasured Moment in Time: Wayne discusses world peace and the finer points of hand puppetry during a visit with a true legend of comedy magic and Society of American Magicians Dean of Magic, the incomparable JAY MARSHALL. 2002. (Photo courtesy of Dale Farris Digital Magic)
KENNETH MARS ("The Producers") and Wayne harmonize a few bars of "Springtime For Hitler" while professional lunatic PAT McCORMICK plans his next adlib, and Partridge Family "Manager" Rueben Kincaid (DAVE MADDEN) plans a career for this new musical duo. (1994).
Comic genius and lifelong friend JONATHAN WINTERS presents Wayne with a gift. Maybe it's a new battery-pack for his tie. (1994).
A decidedly heavier Wayne, having just performed his "Lou Costello as a Magician" routine, is congratulated by buddy and sponsor DAVE MADDEN, while The Magic Castle's Bill Cosko extracts big bucks for Powers' initiation into the Academy of Magical Arts. 1989. (Houdini Room, The Magic Castle, Hollywood)
TWO GUYS IN SEARCH OF A "LOUD SHIRT CONTEST": A visit with magic-comedic inspiration and friend, BILLY McCOMB, Ireland's gift to the world of magic, and the world's largest leprechaun. 2002. (Photo courtesy of Chris Reeseman, Encore Magic) POSTSCRIPT: Sadly, Billy left us on 30 April 2006. IN MEMORIUM: BILLY McCOMB. 1922-2006.
HMMM... IS NEUROSIS CONTAGEOUS? Wayne gets a backstage visit from comedian buddy RICHARD LEWIS. 1993. (Los Angeles)
PHIL PROCTOR (Firesign Theater, several episodes of "13 East," etc.) among the special friends at Wayne's L.A. birthday bash. (June 2000)
Wayne as alien car dealer, Teddy Roosevelt. (Alien Nation, FOX TV Series, 1989)
Wayne shares a giggle or two with longtime friend and talented songstress, JOANIE SOMMERS. Just like old times. (June 2000)
NEIL PATRICK HARRIS, Wayne, and JAMES B. SIKKING. "Doogie Howser, M.D." (1992)
With film great RORY CALHOUN. (Los Angeles, c1992).
Wayne obviously has his elevator shoes on the "Penthouse Setting" to greet buddies DICK GAUTIER and DAVE MADDEN in an after-show visit. (Los Angeles, 1993)
Directing Olympic Gold Medalist MEL STEWART in a video, Wayne unselfishly volunteers to keep Mel's "trinket" dry. (1996)
Lots more photos on the SINGER/BANDLEADER and the MUSTY DUSTY ARCHIVE Pages!