Family & Companions
This lean, often bearded, character player of stage and screen since the 1970s gained some measure of celebrity as the cold, cunning Miles Dentrel on the acclaimed dramatic series "thirtysomething" (ABC). As the resident yuppie scum from 1989-1991, Clennon portrayed the calculating character who seemed to represent the fears and reservations of the show's more sympathetic figures. That his prior stints as a TV regular--"Rafferty" (CBS, 1977), a medical drama and "Park Place" (CBS, 1981), a short-lived legal sitcom--had him playing a surgeon and an eager, idealistic legal aide lawyer, respectively, testify to Clennon's versatility.
After several years of anti-war activism during the Vietnam era, Clennon established himself Off-Broadway and in regional theater, racking up credits at the New York Shakespeare Festival, Long Wharf Theatre and the Actor's Theater of Louisville. He entered films with bit parts in several noteworthy American films of 70s, including "The Paper Chase" (1973), "Bound for Glory" (1976), and "Coming Home" (1977), before landing the substantial supporting role of an ambitious attorney in "Being There" (1979). Clennon amassed additional feature credits, usually in supporting roles, in a wide variety of films. He was the tight-lipped US consul in Chile who cannot help Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek find John Shea in "Missing" (1982) and Meryl Streep's seemingly passionless husband in "Falling in Love" (1984). He received more screen time than usual in Paul Schrader's "Light Sleeper" (1992), as a drug dealing colleague of Susan Sarandon and Willem Dafoe. More recently, he portrayed a doctor in Allison Anders' "Grace of My Heart" (1996).
The small screen has also offered a variety of opportunities for the actor. Clennon's first appearance in a TV longform was a small role in "The Migrants" (CBS, 1974). He could be seen in the miniseries "Helter Skelter" (CBS, 1976) and alongside Henry Fonda in "Gideon's Trumpet" (CBS, 1980). Clennon frequently found himself cast as professionals; an exception was his turn as the American general (and future president) William Henry Harrison in "Tecumseh: The Last Warrior" (CBS, 1995). Among his many guest appearances, the most notable was as a writer suffering with AIDS in an affecting episode of the HBO comedy "Dream On," for which he won an Emmy in 1993. Clennon returned as a series regular on "Almost Perfect" (CBS, 1995-96), as a laid-back, bohemian writer for a TV cop show.
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Joined Air Force ROTC at the University of Notre Dame; quit the ROTC during sophmore year (1962-1963) (date approximate)
Arrested in a march on the Pentagon protesting the Vietnam War
First acting break, won roles in two Sam Shepard one-act plays "Unseen Hand" and "Forensic and the Navigator"
Feature debut, "The Paper Chase"
TV-movie debut, "The Migrants", a Tennessee Williams drama adapted for TV by Lanford Wilson
Cast as a regular in the CBS medical drama "Rafferty" starring Patrick MacGoohan
Played a recurring role on the hit ABC sitcom "Barney Miller"
First substantial film role, "Being There"
Debut as a TV series regular, "Park Place", a short-lived legal sitcom on CBS
First worked with producer-writer team Edward Zwick and Marshall Hershkovitz on the TV-movie "Special Bulletin"
Was Meryl Streep's suffocating husband in "Falling in Love"
Had a recurring role on "thirtysomething" (ABC) as Miles Drentel, resident yuppie scum; created by Zwick and Hershkovitz
Had a major supporting role in Paul Schrader's "Light Sleeper" with Willem Dafae and Susan Sarandon
Returned to series TV as regular on the CBS sitcom "Almost Perfect"
Had featured role in the HBO miniseries "From the Earth to the Moon"
Reprised role of Miles Dentrell on the ABC drama "Once and Again"
Had co-starring role on the CBS drama "The Agency"
Cast in John Sayles' political satire "Silver City"
Co-starred in the southern drama, "Constellation"