Award-winning American actor Harve Presnell was born on September 14, 1933 in Modesto, California. He made his debut at the age of 16, performing in an opera. He moved on to study at the University of Southern California. His domineering presence—his tall stature and his booming voice—made him a perfect choice for stage. His major break on stage came in 1960, when starred in the musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown in 1960. In between he’s played many roles on film and television, going back as early as 1956, in a presentation for Alfred Hitch!$#!# Presents.
Since then, Presnell has starred in numerous films, such as The Glory Guys, When the Boys Meet the Girls, Paint Your Wagon and Blood Bath. In the 1980s, his film career faded, with Presnell deciding to focus on stage performances. Notably, he appeared in an off-Broadway performance of Man of La Mancha in 1984, a performance which earned rave reviews from critics. His film career was revived in 1996, when he was cast as the father-in-law of car dealer Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy) in the film Fargo. He then got roles in films such as Face/Off, Saving Private Ryan, Patch Adams, The Legend of Bagger Vance, Mr. Deeds and Evan Almighty. He also snagged numerous roles in televisions, appearing in shows like Star Trek: Voyager, Nash Bridges, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, The Pretender, Dawson’s Creek, Frasier, Hope & Faith and Monk.
Presnell’s first regular television role since the resurgence of his career was in the short-lived sitcom Andy Barker, P.I. There, he plays retired private investigator Lew Staziak, who teaches Andy (Andy Richter) the ways of the trade, with mixed consequences. The series aired in 2007 and was not renewed after its initial run of six episodes finished.