Jason Stuart is an actor and comedian with over 200 film & TV shows to his credit. He has been able to transcend the image of an out character actor into several groundbreaking roles of late and continues working as an out stand-up comedian. He has broken ground in places and accomplished what seemed impossible to achieve in the early 90s. To able be play both straight & gay roles in mainstream show business.
He was born in New York in the Bronx and raised in Los Angeles, Ca. His father was the vice president of necktie manufacturing company and his mother was a beautician.
He credits his success to his mom for her sense of humor and his dad for his ability to show up in life. His father passed a few years ago. He was a Jewish immigrant who always said to him (in a thick Polish accent), “When you go to the interview, wear a tie and show them you mean business”. I took that to mean, “Be your best self”. And that’s what I strive to be. Stuart says.
Here are some bits and pieces of his career that make him unique.
1) STUART won an episode of STAR SEARCH in the 1985-86 season and lost to BAD BOYS star MARTIN LAWRENCE. In a comic moment, when he lost STUART stamped his foot and walked off. In the day it was the usual to shake hands and leave the limelight to the night’s winner. STUART thought it to be funny to press the envelope and do the opposite. The audience roared! But year’s later MARTIN’S fans did not find it as funny.
2) STUART played “Marty” the nightclub owner in the short-lived series SUNSET BEAT on ABC starring GEORGE CLOONEY. The show has CLOONEY playing a police officer by day and in a rock band by night. STUART wanting to do the best job learned the lines perfectly. CLOONEY would say to feel free to improv and make it your own. This became one his trademarks with
3) STUART was the first openly gay male comedian to have a comedy special on the HERE TV Network. The special was called MAKING IT TO THE MIDDLE. He taped it in the middle of the county, the middle of his career and the middle of his life in 2008. It will be having its 10th anniversary this year and be re-released on December 7th with HERE MEDIA, AMAZON and all over the net again.
4) He was the first comedian to teach comedy traffic school in Los Angeles. STUART worked for the company “Let Us Amuse U”. He would make fun of all the traffic signs, which became his big closing bit of his comedy act in the 80s. He also did an Oscar & “I Love Lucy” quiz. These crazy antics got him fired after only 9 months of career as the spokesperson for the driver’s education company. He often appeared in TV and print interviews for the school all over California.
5) STUART created the first ever LGBT committee at the Screen Actors Guild in 2005; now called SAG AFTRA. He is currently the national co-chair with Traci Godfrey. The Williams Institute did one of the first surveys on out actors in the country with the SAG AFTRA a few years ago. He also received the She Persist Award and Jose Julio Sarria International Civil Rights Award for his work with the Union.
6) STUART played a white, heterosexual, Christian plantation owner in 1831 in the historical drama THE BIRTH OF A NATION. All the while being a liberal gay Jewish man. He has stated this role changed him as an artist and a man.
7) When he started his career in community theatre. He told people as a child he was nominated for best supporting Oscar for his role in the film THEY SHOOT HORSES DON’T THEY. He would tell folks he was the one who held the gun and killed JANE FONDA when her character could not kill herself. This character did not exist in the film!
8) He came out on GERALDO show in 1993 on an episode called “Unconventional Comedians”; years before his fellow comic ELLEN DEGENERES. He often says when you break the ground you get to walk on it. He continues to prove that to be true.
9) He recently did a chat show and played BARBRA STRIESAND for the full 35-minute interview. The podcast aptly named The WOO WOO PROJECT hosted by Lisa Orkin.
10) He is a veritable human rolodex on the Academy Awards. He can tell you who won, the year and how many nominations for most actors. He claims Dustin Hoffman as his favorite actor who he models his work after. He also loves character actors like Seymour Philip Hoffman, Geraldine Page, Viola Davis, Steve Buscemi, Maureen Stapleton, Paul Giamatti, Sandra Oh and Whoopi Goldberg.