Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Jake Frost
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Stanton Daily. Posted by Jake Frost
Crocodile Dundee, Lovesick, Desperately Seeking Susan
Currently Known For:
Mozart in the Jungle
May 14, 1950
It seems that in just about every 1980s movie, there’s a person that gets in the way of a relationship that we all know is going to happen. Among those movies that followed this formula was the massive hit “Crocodile Dundee” that featured actor Mark Blum as that guy who was in the way. Blum had been acting prior to the role, and has been acting ever since.
Blum was born in Newark, New Jersey on May 14, 1950 and started to act on stage when he entered his mid 20s. At this point, he had graduated from the Ivy League’s University of Pennsylvania where he initially thought of becoming a lawyer, and then received his master’s at the University of Minnesota. According to Blum, the first role he had was “As Harold Hill in the Camp Weequahic production of Music Man. Professionally, the National Shakespeare Co., and in NYC, the Soho Rep’s production of Anna Christie.”
Blum quickly moved up the ladder, and he was very happy with the theatrical scene. It wasn’t until the early 1980s that Blum started to act on screen, playing a minor role in the 1983 film “Lovesick” that starred Dudley Moore and Elizabeth McGovern.
The next year, Blum landed his first television role in an episode of “St. Elsewhere” before heading back to the big screen. In 1985, he was part of the popular film “Desperately Seeking Susan”. In one funny story, Blum thought that his co-star Madonna was a bike messenger as he had never met or seen her before. Then, Blum was in 1986 was in the drama “Just Between Friends”. That same year, Blum had a role in what would be his most successful movie to date.
Blum played the role of Richard Mason in the 1986 blockbuster “Crocodile Dundee” that became one of the biggest hits of not just the year, but the 1980s. Blum’s character is the original boyfriend of character Sue Charlton that was played by Linda Kozlowski. Eventually, Richard proposes to Sue, and they agreed to get married. However, Blum’s character isn’t exactly the “good guy” and the wedding gets called off. In the end, Sue ends up with the title character, played by Paul Hogan.
During the rest of the 1980s, Blum played a variety of roles on the big screen. This included the movies “Blind Date”, “The Presidio” and “Worth Winning”. During that time, he also had a guest TV role on “Miami Vice” while landing a regular role on “Sweet Surrender” in 1987. However, the series was cancelled after just one season. The same happened again in 1990 when Blum starred on “Capital News” that was very brief in its TV run.
Blum added another brief regular role in 1995 with “Central Park West”, but spent much of the decade having brief guest appearances. Some of the roles that really stood out for Blum during the decade included episodes of “Wings”, “Frasier” and ‘Law & Order”. Films during the decade included “The Low Life”, “Sudden manhattan” and “Stag”. Since then, Blum has been in movies such as “Step Up 3D”, “Shattered Glass” and most recently in the 2016 film “No Pay, Nudity”.
Now, Blum is one of those TV actors that you’ve seen a ton of times, though you might not have known his name. Blum has popped up in shows such as “CSI: Miami”, “Fringe”, “The Good Wife” and “Judging Amy”. Blum had a regular role as Union Bob in the web series ‘Mozart in the Jungle” that appeared on Amazon from 2014 to 2018 before reaching its conclusion after four seasons. Most recently, Blum has been in 2018 episodes of “Elementary” and “Succession” with a recurring role on “You”. Throughout it all, Blum has been married to “One Life to Live” actress Janet Zarish, a native of Chicago.
On top of his TV acting career, Blum has also continued his career on stage, while also teaching at Brooklyn College and HB Studios. Blum has an extensive resume when it comes to Broadway, which includes roles in productions such as “The Graduate”, “Twelve Angry Men” and “A Thousand Clowns”. He wants to “continue to do the most interesting projects anyone wants me to do,” Blum says of his future roles. As for any advice that he might have for young actors, Blum says “get out of your own way.”
“Every student is different,” he says in his official studio statement. “My job is to be a diagnostician, identifying the particular issues holding an actor back from reaching his or her potential, then nudging them towards finding, and owning, the keys to their own freedom.” All in all, Blum would be a pretty good actor to learn from with his extensive background. Now in his late 60s, Blum has been acting professionally for more than 40 years, and on screen for more than 35.